Author Biography

Udit Banerjea is a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, studying international relations and international economics, with a concentration in South Asia studies. He is also a South Asia Research Fellow at New America and an Assistant Editor for Foreign Policy's South Asia Channel. Mr. Banerjea focuses on security issues and foreign policy in South Asia and the Greater Middle East. Prior to his graduate studies, Mr. Banerjea worked as a management consultant in Washington, DC.



Subject Area Keywords

Armed groups, Counterintelligence, Intelligence analysis, Intelligence collection, Iran, Islamic culture and politics, Middle East, Military affairs, Nuclear weapons and nonproliferation, Social media, Terrorism / counterterrorism


The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a military and paramilitary organization that is meant to defend the ideals of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979. Since its formation, the IRGC has grown in influence and its intelligence role has expanded. This paper examines the role of the IRGC in Iran’s intelligence system through a comprehensive analysis of the organization of the IRGC’s intelligence arm, along with its operations and capabilities. In doing so, the scope, objectives, resources, customers, and sponsors of the IRGC’s intelligence activities are also analyzed. Additionally, this paper explores how the IRGC interacts with the government of Iran, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), other key internal stakeholders, and foreign client organizations. A key focus of this analysis is the evolution of the relationship between the IRGC and the MOIS and the growing influence of the IRGC in Iran’s intelligence community over the last decade. The paper concludes that the IRGC has now eclipsed the MOIS within Iran’s intelligence community and is one of the most powerful institutions in Iranian politics today, using its intelligence activities as its key means of maintaining power and influence within the country.