Members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards march during an annual military parade to mark Iran's eight-year war with Iraq, 1980–'88, in the capital Tehran, on Sept. 22, 2013. Atta Kenare/AFP
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Donald Trump's victory and the war on Daesh (ISIS) have given Iran's hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps what it sees as a unique opportunity to claw back economic and political power it had lost. Sidelined after a nuclear deal was reached with Iranian reformist leaders and the administration of President Barack Obama and major nations, the IRGC is determined to regain its position in Shiite Iran's complex governing structure.Elected in a landslide in 2013 on a promise to end Iran's diplomatic and economic isolation, pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani has struggled to reconnect Iran's economy to world markets and to attract foreign investment.Under the nuclear deal, international sanctions were lifted in January, opening up the Iranian economy, thereby threatening the IRGC power base.Anxious about losing economic power, the IRGC accused Rouhani of favoring foreign firms rather than domestic ones, demanding a bigger role in the economy and calling for implementation of Khamenei's vision for a self-reliant Iran.Foreign companies need an Iranian partner to do business in Iran, which for big projects often means firms controlled by the IRGC.
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