Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has lauded the “good activities” of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), even as the U.S. released a new report accusing Tehran of meddling in the 2020 presidential election.
The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Tehran “carried out a multi-pronged covert influence campaign intended to undercut former President Trump’s re-election prospects—though without directly promoting his rival.”
Other nations accused of meddling to try and influence the result—whether for or against Trump—and divide American society were Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, as well as non-state actors like Lebanese Hezbollah; a close ally of the regime in Tehran.
U.S. intelligence officials have long warned of Iranian influence and hacking operations, including around major elections. The IRGC—a powerful guarantor of the theocratic regime—is believed to be at the forefront of such efforts, wielding its significant funds and know-how to undermine the U.S. in cyberspace.
In October, for example, Trump’s administration put new sanctions on the IRGC, the organization’s covert Quds Force, and the IRGC-aligned Bayan Rasaneh Gostar Institute “for having directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference” in the presidential race.
Iran’s Supreme Leader on Wednesday celebrated the Guard Corps’ national day. “Greetings to all the guards,” the supreme leader wrote in a message as reported by the state-run Fars News Agency. “God willing, you will always be victorious. Continue your good activities with power.”
The IRGC has great influence within Iran, with a footprint in almost every sector of the country’s economy. Its income has been estimated to be more than $12 billion each year.
The IRGC also holds significant sway over Iran’s foreign policy. The Quds force is particularly influential, creating and organizing Tehran’s broad network of militia forces across the region.
Read the complete article at: Newsweek
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