IRGC Intelligence Organization
Established By: IRGC;
Country Of Origin: Iran;
Leaders: Chairman: Mohammad Kazemi (from 2022);
Key Members: Deputy: Hassan Mohaqeq (from 2019), Vice-Chairman: Mahdi Sayyari (from 2016);
Also Known As: Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC’s Intelligence Organization, IRGC intelligence;
Operational Area: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon;
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Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Persian: سازمان اطلاعات سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی) is an Iranian intelligence agency within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and part of Council for Intelligence Coordination. The Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was established on Khamanei’s initiative in 2009.
According to Stratfor, it is as powerful as Ministry of Intelligence and possibly even more powerful than the other service. The agency appears to be more active at a domestic level while at an international level, the Quds Force is the key operational group. The agency also has a wide range of Basij informers. It has been described as a “more ideological counterpart” to the ministry of the Iranian government devoted to intelligence, (the Ministry of Intelligence and Security), which it “overshadows” and “often” overrules, according to the New York Times.
IRGC’s Intelligence Organization is an Iranian intelligence agency which is part of Iran’s intelligence community. It operates independently from the MOIS and has a permanent seat in the Council for Intelligence Coordination. The Intelligence Organization of IRGC (in its current form) was established on Khamenei’s initiative in 2009, and it answers directly and only to him. It was formed that way to prevent disagreements and bureaucracy between the elite of the political level and MOIS to Khamenei (which harmed MOIS’s status). Furthermore, to strengthen the lines even more, in May 2019 the Intelligence Organization was merged with the Strategic Intelligence branch of the IRGC.
IRGC’s Intelligence Organization deals with special operations, thwarting political subversion, actively participating in repression of protests and riots and fighting “Western cultural penetration”. In recent years, the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization assigned missions which were previously classified as operational MIOS tasks, e.g.: capturing regime opponents abroad, arresting tourists and dual-nationality Iranians for the purpose of prisoner swap deals with Western countries, or for advancing various economic interests. This amounts to terrorism.
Today, the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization is “competing” with Quds Force for different missions abroad. Both have the operational capability of gathering intelligence and to carry out special operations. On the other hand, a few testimonies show that cooperation between the two does exists in operations outside Iran, although the way it is divided and managed is not clear yet.
Hitherto only two consecutive commanders headed IRGC’s Intelligence Organization (in its current structure):
• Hussein Taeb (2009-2022, today’s special advisor to IRGC’s commander Hossein Salami).
• Muhammad Kazemi (2022-present)
These units function as the main executors of the Iranian regime’s terrorist policy around the world.