In the short run, at least, President Donald Trump’s beef with Iran has more to do with its aggressive, destabilizing foreign policy in the Middle East than with its nuclear program, which, experts agree, is years away from producing even a single nuclear device.
The chief institution responsible for implementing the political warfare and military aspects of that foreign policy is the Pasdaran—better known in the West as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The IRGC was forged on the anvil of the Islamic Revolution of 1979. It has grown steadily in power and influence over the Republic’s turbulent 40-year history. Today the Guard is a unique, and uniquely powerful, politico-military organization within Iran. It has no exact counterpart in any Western nation.