Last updated

Basij logo.png
Formation26 November 1979;39 years ago (1979-11-26) (decreed) [1]
30 April 1980;39 years ago (1980-04-30) (founded) [1]
Founder Ruhollah Khomeini [1]
TypeParamilitary volunteer militia [1]
Purpose Auxiliaries [1]
FieldsInternal security, law enforcement, moral policing [1]
Brig. Gen. Gholamreza Soleimani
Parent organization
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (since 1981)
Budget (1395 SH)
Increase2.svg $357.08 million [2]
Staff (2005)
90,000 (CSIS estimate) [1]
Volunteers (2009)
11.2 million (official data) [1]
600,000 available for mission [3]

The Basij (Persian : بسيج, lit. "The Mobilization"), Niruyeh Moghavemat Basij (Persian : نیروی مقاومت بسیج, "Mobilisation Resistance Force"), full name Sāzmān-e Basij-e Mostaz'afin (Persian : سازمان بسیج مستضعفین, "The Organization for Mobilization of the Oppressed"), [4] [5] is one of the five forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. [6] A paramilitary volunteer militia established in Iran in 1979 by order of Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the Iranian Revolution, the organization originally consisted of civilian volunteers who were urged by Khomeini to fight in the Iran–Iraq War. [7]

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. It is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian and Tajiki Persian. It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of Cyrillic.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Islamic defense branch of Irans military

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, founded after the Iranian Revolution on 22 April 1979 by order of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Whereas the Iranian Army defends Iranian borders and maintains internal order, according to the Iranian constitution, the Revolutionary Guard (pasdaran) is intended to protect the country's Islamic republic political system. The Revolutionary Guards state that their role in protecting the Islamic system is preventing foreign interference as well as coups by the military or "deviant movements".

Paramilitary Militarised force or other organization

A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but is not formally part of a country's armed forces.


It was an independent organization from inception until 17 February 1981, when it was officially incorporated into the Revolutionary Guards organization structure by the Iranian Parliament [8] in order to end the interservice rivalry between the two, according to Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. [1]

Interservice rivalry Rivalry between countries armed forces, such as the U.S. Navy and Army

Interservice rivalry is the rivalry between different branches of a country's armed forces, in other words the competition for limited resources among a nation's land, naval, and air forces. The term also applies to the rivalries between a country’s intelligence services, or between the police and fire services of a city, such as the NYPD and FDNY.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Iranian politician, Shia cleric and Writer

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was an influential Iranian politician, writer and one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic who was the fourth President of Iran from 3 August 1989 until 3 August 1997. He was the head of the Assembly of Experts from 2007 until 2011, when he decided not to nominate himself for the post. He was also the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council.

Today the force consists of young Iranians who volunteer, often in exchange for official benefits. Basij serve as an auxiliary force engaged in activities such as internal security, enforcing state control over society, [9] law enforcement auxiliary, providing social services, organizing public religious ceremonies, policing morals, and suppression of dissident gatherings. [10] [11] The force is named Basij; an individual member is called basiji. [12]

The Basij are subordinate to and receive their orders from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Supreme Leader of Iran, to whom they are known for their loyalty. [13] [14] They have a local organization in almost every city in Iran. [15]

Supreme Leader of Iran Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Supreme Leader of Iran, also referred to as Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, but officially called the Supreme Leadership Authority, is the head of state as well as the ultimate political and religious authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The armed forces, judiciary, state television, and other key government organizations are subject to the Supreme Leader. The current longtime officeholder, Ali Khamenei, has been issuing decrees and making the final decisions on economy, environment, foreign policy, education, national planning, and everything else in Iran. Khamenei also makes the final decisions on the amount of transparency in elections, and has dismissed and reinstated presidential cabinet appointees. The Supreme Leader directly chooses the ministers of Defense, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs, as well as certain other ministers, such as the Science Minister. Iran's regional policy is directly controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' task limited to protocol and ceremonial occasions. All of Iran's ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly report to the Supreme Leader.

As of July 2019 Gholamreza Soleimani is the commander of the Basij. [16] [17] The force was often present and reacting to the widespread 2009 Iranian election protests and 2017–18 Iranian protests. [18]

Gholamreza Soleimani

Gholamreza Soleimani is a senior officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who commands Basij forces.

2009 Iranian presidential election protests

Protests against the highly controversial 2009 Iranian presidential election results, in support of opposition candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, occurred in major cities nationwide from 2009 into early 2010. The protests were titled Iranian Green Movement by its proponents, reflecting Mousavi's campaign theme, and Persian Awakening, Persian Spring or Green Revolution, reflecting the "Persian identity" of Iranians and the so-called "colour revolution" theme.

2017–18 Iranian protests series of demonstrations in Iran beginning on 28 December 2017

The 2017–2018 Iranian protests refer to a series of public protests occurring in various cities throughout Iran beginning on 28 December 2017 and continuing into 2018. The first protest took place in Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city by population, initially focused on the economic policies of the country's government; however, as protests spread throughout the country, their scope expanded to include political opposition to the theocratic regime of Iran and its longtime Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. The wave of protests that swept across the nation sent a strong message to international onlookers. It exposed the regime's vulnerabilities and shortcomings and showed that the Iranian people are ready for regime change. The Iranian public has showcased their fury with a wide repertoire of chants aimed at the regime and its leadership. According to The Washington Post, protesters' chants and attacks on government buildings upended a system that had little tolerance for dissent, with some demonstrators even shouting "Death to the dictator!"—referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—and asking security forces to join them.

Basij, being part of the IRGC, is designated as a terrorist entity by the governments of the United States, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. [19]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe, which is 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Bahrain Sovereign island state in the Persian Gulf

Bahrain, officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, is an island country in the Persian Gulf. The sovereign state comprises a small archipelago centered around Bahrain Island, situated between the Qatar peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre (16 mi) King Fahd Causeway. Bahrain's population is 1,234,567, including 666,172 non-nationals. It is 765.3 square kilometres (295.5 sq mi) in size, making it the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore.

Saudi Arabia Country in Western Asia

Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. With a land area of approximately 2,150,000 km2 (830,000 sq mi), Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest sovereign state in the Middle East, the second-largest in the Arab world, the fifth-largest in Asia, and the 12th-largest in the world. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south; it is separated from Israel and Egypt by the Gulf of Aqaba. It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland and mountains. As of October 2018, the Saudi economy was the largest in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world. Saudi Arabia also has one of the world's youngest populations; 50 percent of its 33.4 million people are under 25 years old.

Basij in political literature

Basij could be considered a process in which a social group take the control of those sources that were prior out of its domination. If Basiij as a mobilization could go beyond a sole group then it becomes a movement. There is more emphasis on the interrelations of group and common culture. Whenever the collective interrelations of a group are steady then the likelihood of success increases. [20]


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for the foundation of a youth militia in November 1979, during the Iranian Revolution. [4] The Basij was established on 30 April 1980. [12] It was open to those above the age of 18 and below the age of 45.

During the Iran–Iraq War hundreds of thousands volunteered for the Basij, including children as young as 12 and unemployed old men, some in their eighties. These volunteers were swept up in Shi'a love of martyrdom and the atmosphere of patriotism of the war mobilization; most often they came from poor, peasant backgrounds. They were encouraged through visits to schools and an intensive media campaign. During the war, the Revolutionary Guard Corps used Basiji members as a pool from which to draw manpower. [21] The Basij may best be known for their employment of human wave attacks which cleared minefields or drew the enemy's fire. [22] It is estimated that tens of thousands were killed through the use of this tactic.

The typical human wave tactic was for Basijis (often very lightly armed and unsupported by artillery or air power) to march forward in straight rows. While casualties were high, the tactic often worked when employed against poorly trained members of the Iraqi regular army. [23] [24]

According to Dilip Hiro, by the spring of 1983 the Basij had trained 2.4 million Iranians in the use of arms and sent 450,000 to the front. [25] In 1985 the IRNA put the number of Basijis at 3 million, quoting from Hojjatoleslam Rahmani. [4] Tehran Bureau estimates the peak number of Basijis at the front at 100,000 by December 1986. [12]


According to The New York Times , after the spontaneous celebrations following Iran winning a spot in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and the student protests in July 1999, the Islamic government felt that it had lost control of the streets, and reactivated the Basij. [13] Giving a slightly different timeline, reports that it was revived around 2005. [26]

The Iranian Government has drawn up a number of different plans to keep the Basij alive. Among these plans is the emphasis on ideas such as Development Basij (Basij-e-Sazandegi). [26] Along with the Iranian riot police and the Ansar-e-Hezbollah, the Basij have been active in suppressing student demonstrations in Iran. The Basij are sometimes differentiated from the Ansar in being more "disciplined" and not beating, or at least not being as quick to beat demonstrators. [27] Other sources describe the Ansar-e-Hezbollah as part of the Basij. [13]

Some believe the change in focus of the Basij from its original mission of fighting to defend Iran in the Iran-Iraq War to its current internal security concerns has led to a loss in its prestige and morale. [28]

2009 election protests

Mir Hussein Moussavi, opposition presidential candidate in 2009, decried violent attacks by the Basij during the 2009 Iranian election protests. [13] There have also been reports of poor performance by Basij after the 2009 election. [12] This was thought to be a reason for the replacement of commander Hossein Taeb and the Basij's formal integration into the Revolutionary Guards ground forces in October 2009. [12] Following the protests, Hojjatoleslam Hossein Taeb, commander of the Basij, stated that eight people were killed and 300 wounded in the violence. [29] [30]

In 2010, a Norwegian student doing research in Iran claims he witnessed gruesome atrocities inside a Basij camp after being abducted by the unit while riding on a bus. According to the account the student gave to Norwegian embassy officials, he witnessed detained political dissidents being 'disemboweled', burned to death, and deliberately crushed by a riot control truck. [31]

During the protests, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei created the Haydaryan, a new paramilitary force specifically dedicated to preserving his position; several of the founding Haydaryan members came from the Basij. [32]

Syrian Civil War, 2011–present

A Western analyst believed thousands of Iranian paramilitary Basij fighters were stationed in Syria as of December 2013. [33] Syria's geopolitical importance to Iran and its role as one of Iran's crucial allies prompted the involvement of Basij militiamen in the ongoing Syrian Civil War. The Basij militia, similar to Hezbollah fighters, work with the Syrian army against rebel forces. Such involvement poses new foreign policy challenges for a number of countries across the region, particularly Israel and Turkey as Iran's influence becomes more than just ideological and monetary on the ground in the Syrian conflict.[ clarification needed ] [34] The Basij involvement in the Syrian Civil War reflects previous uses of the militia as a proxy force for Iranian foreign policy in an effort to assert Iranian dominance in the region [35] and frightens Salim Idriss, head of the Free Syrian Army. [36]

Organization and membership

Basij form the fifth branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. It is organized into the Imam Hossein Brigades and the Imam Ali Brigades (which deal with security threats). [12] Subgroupings of the Basij include the Pupil Basij [Basij-e Danesh-Amouzi], the Student Basij [Basij-e Daneshjouyi], the University Basij, the Public Service Basij (Basij-e Edarii), and the Tribal Basij. [37] Tehran Bureau also lists a "Basij of the Guilds" (Basij-e Asnaf), and a "Labor Basij" (Basij-e Karegaran). [12] Estimates of the number of Basij vary, with its leadership giving higher figures than outside commentators. Official estimates are as high as 23.8 million. [38]


The Basij is currently commanded by Gholam-Hossein Gheibparvar, who replaced Mohammad Reza Naqdi in 2016. [37] [39] Before Naqdi, Hossein Taeb was appointed commander of the Basij on 14 July 2008. [16] [17]

The first deputy commander General Mirahmadi was formally installed on 4 September 2005. The Tehran commander is Seyyed Mohammad Haj Aqamir. The deputy Basij commander for Tehran, General Ahmad Zolqadr, was formally installed on 5 September 2005; the new Basij commander in Tabrizi, Brigadier General Mohammad Yusef Shakeri, assumed office on 29 September 2005. [26]

Alireza Afshar 1990–1998
Mohammad Hejazi 1998–2007
Hossein Taeb 2007–2009
Mohammad Reza Naqdi 2009–2016
Gholamhossein Gheybparvar 2016–2019
Gholamreza Soleimani 2019–present

Duties and activities

According to Radio Liberty, by the end of the war, most of the Basijis left the service and were reintegrated back into their lives, often after years of being in the front. [37] By 1988 the number of Basij checkpoints dramatically decreased, [26] but the Basij were still enforcing the hijab, arresting women for violating the dress code, and arresting youths for attending mixed gender parties or being in public with unrelated members of the opposite sex. [40]

Duties vary by province. Basij are deployed against drug traffickers in the eastern border regions and smugglers in Hormuzgan and Bushehr, and on the border with Iraq. [41]

In 1988 college Basiji organizations were established on college campuses to fight "Westoxification" and potential student agitation against the government. [40]

The Ashura Brigades were created in 1993. These Islamic brigades were made up of both Revolutionary Guards and the Basij and by 1998 numbered 17,000. [4]

According to Golkar, [9] the Basij are used to spread the state's ideology, serve as propaganda machine in political campaigns, justify clerical rule, protect politicians, and enforce Islamic morality and rules. They are part of the Islamic Republic's of Iran's overall avowed plan to have millions of informers. The Basiji also undermine dissent; for instance, they play a key role in suppressing uprisings and demonstrations. [9]

To prepare for war, the Basij are indoctrinated about the benefits of martyrdom. [9]

Benefits and profile of members

Benefits for members of the Basij reportedly include exemption from the 21 months of military service required for Iranian men, reserved spots in universities, and a small stipend. [13] Members of Basij are more likely than non-members to obtain government positions, especially security related positions within government controlled institutions. While some joined the Basij because of genuine religious convictions, others reportedly join Basij only to take advantage of the benefits of membership and to get admission to university or as a tool to get promotion in government jobs. [9] [42]


In theory the Basij are banned from involvement in politics by the Iranian constitution, but its leadership is considered active, particularly during and after the 2005 election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. [12] Supreme Leader Khamenei described Basij as "the greatest hope of the Iranian nation" and "an immaculate tree". [14]

In past elections militia members have voted for both hardliners and reformists. Former President Ahmadinejad enjoyed significant support from militia members, many of whom have benefited from his policies during his presidency. [43]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Robin B. Wright, ed. (2010), The Iran Primer: Power, Politics, and U.S. Policy, US Institute of Peace Press, pp. 62–65, ISBN   1601270844
  2. "Iran decreases IRGC budget for next year". AzerNews Newspaper. 18 January 2016. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  3. Kenneth Katzman (6 February 2017), "Iran's Foreign and Defense Policies" (PDF), Congressional Research Service, Federation of American Scientists, p. 24, archived (PDF) from the original on 8 March 2017, retrieved 1 March 2017
  4. 1 2 3 4 John Pike. " Intelligence: Mobilisation Resistance Force". Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  5. AEI Outlook Series: What Do Structural Changes in the Revolutionary Guards Mean? Archived 27 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Forozan, Hesam (2015), The Military in Post-Revolutionary Iran: The Evolution and Roles of the Revolutionary Guards, Taylor & Francis, pp. 56–58, ISBN   1317430735
  7. "Basij Militia". The New York Times. 2 December 2011. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  8. Alfoneh, Ali (2013), Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards Is Transforming Iran from Theocracy into Military Dictatorship, AEI Press, p. 49
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Golkar, Saeid (2015). Captive Society: The Basij Militia and Social Control in Iran. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press. ISBN   978-0-231-80135-5.
  10. Molavi, Afshin, The Soul of Iran, W. W. Norton, (2005), p. 88, 316–318
  11. Neil MacFarquhar (19 June 2009). "Shadowy Iranian Vigilantes Vow Bolder Action". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 30 September 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 iran primer the basij resistance force Archived 17 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine by ALI ALFONEH,, 21 October 2010
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 Basij Militia. Archived 21 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine 19 June 2009
  14. 1 2 "Supreme Leader's Speech to Basij Members". 3 May 2008. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  15. Molavi, Afshin, The Soul of Iran, W.W. Norton, (2005), p.88
  16. 1 2 Hosein Taeb Archived 19 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine Iran Rises. 30 August 2009. accessed 23-September-2009
  17. 1 2 "Iran's unfinished crisis. Nazenin Ansari, 16 – 09 – 2009". openDemocracy. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  18. "Amnesty urges Iran to stop using Basij militia". The Gazette. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.[ dead link ]
  20. Hossein Bashiriyeh, Revolution and Political Mobilization, p.78–81, ISBN   978-964-03-3702-8
  21. Khomeinis Warriors: Foundation of Irans Regime, Its Guardians, Allies around the World, War Analysis, and Strategies by Mehran Riazaty, ISBN   978-1514470336
  22. Khomeini: Life of the Ayatollah by Baqer Moin
  23. Cited in: Erich Wiedemann, "Mit dem Paradies-Schlüssel in die Schlacht", in: Der Spiegel , no. 31/1982, p. 93.
  24. Iran at War: 1500–1988 (Pg. 363) By Kaveh Farrokh
  25. Hiro, Dilip, Iran under the Ayatollahs, Routledge and Kegan, 1985, p.237
  26. 1 2 3 4 Iran: Paramilitary Force Prepares For Urban Unrest, September 2005 Archived 8 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine .
  27. Molavi, The Soul of Iran (2005), p. 318
  28. Scott Peterson. "Iran's angry young adults erupt in political protest 16.6.2003". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  29. Police, Basij 'imposters' arrested in Iran Archived 2 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine PressTV, 29 June 2009
  30. Iran opposition says 72 died in post-poll unrest Reuters. 3 September 2009
  31. SHOCKING ATROCITIES INSIDE A BASIJ ENCAMPMENT: NORWEGIAN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT (2010 February 9) Archived 8 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  32. "Iran: The Supreme Leader's New Security Force". Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  33. Iran boosts support to Syria Archived 29 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine , Telegraph, 21 February 2014
  34. "Iranian Forces on the Golan?". Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 13 August 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  35. "The Arab world fears the 'Safavid'". Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  36. Gordon, Michael R. (21 May 2013). "Iran and Hezbollah's Support for Syria Complicates U.S. Strategy on Peace Talks". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  37. 1 2 3 "Iran's Basij Force – The Mainstay Of Domestic Security". Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. 15 January 2009. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  38. سردار نقدی در برنامه تلویزیونی «متن – حاشیه»:23 میلیون و 800 هزار نفر عضو بسیج هستند/ از کسی تا کنون شکایت نکرده ایم/ رابطه بسیج با این دولت مانند دولت قبل است Archived 23 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine , Fars news agency, November 23, 2015
  39. "Iran's New Basij Militia Commander More Militaristic Than His Predecessor". Center for Human Rights in Iran. 16 December 2016. Archived from the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  40. 1 2 Molavi, The Soul of Iran (2005), p. 89
  41. Iran's Basij Force – The Mainstay Of Domestic Security Archived 10 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine , By Hossein Aryan, RFERL, December 07, 2008
  42. McDowall, Angus (21 June 2009). "Iran's Basij force: the shock troops terrorising protesters". Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 29 May 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  43. "Profile: Basij militia force". BBC News. 18 June 2009. Archived from the original on 22 June 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2009.

Further reading

Related Research Articles

Hussein-Ali Montazeri Iranian Islamic theologian, Islamic democracy activist, writer and human rights activist

Hussein-Ali Montazeri was an Iranian Shia Islamic theologian, Islamic democracy advocate, writer and human rights activist. He was one of the leaders of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. He was once the designated successor to the revolution's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, with whom he had a falling-out in 1989 over government policies that Montazeri claimed infringed on people's freedom and denied them their rights. Montazeri spent his later years in Qom, and remained politically influential in Iran, especially to the reformist movement. He was widely known as the most knowledgeable senior Islamic scholar in Iran and a Grand Marja of Shia Islam.

Iranian Reformists political movement in Iran to change the system to include more freedom and democracy

The Iranian reformists are a political faction in Iran that support former President Mohammad Khatami's plans to change the Iranian political system to include more freedom and democracy. Iran's "reform era" is sometimes said to have lasted from 1997 to 2005—the length of Khatami's two terms in office. The Council for Coordinating the Reforms Front is the main umbrella organization and coalition within the movement; however, there are reformist groups not aligned with the council, such as the Reformists Front.

Ansar-e Hezbollah

Ansar-e Hezbollah is a conservative paramilitary organization in Iran. According to the Columbia World Dictionary of Islamism, it is a "semi-official quasi-clandestine organization of a paramilitary character that performs vigilante duties".

Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi is a military commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Ground Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps land warfare branch of Irans Revolutionary Guard

The Ground Forces of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, acronymed NEZSA, are the force which the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, also known as Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), maintain in parallel to the regular army of Iran. In addition to their conventional military role, the revolutionary guards' ground forces are more geared towards internal disorder than the regular army. The IRGC's Ground Forces are more focused on internal security and has become less effective as a conventional fighting force since the end of the Iran–Iraq War. There are around 100,000 IRGC Ground Force troops.

Mohammad Ali Jafari Iranian general

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari is an Iranian general and former commander-in-chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He was appointed by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, on September 1, 2007, to succeed Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi.

Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran combined military forces of Iran

The Iranian Armed Forces comprise the Army (Artesh), the Revolutionary Guard Corps (Sepāh) and the Law Enforcement Force (Police) of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Qasem Soleimani Iranian senior military officer

Qasem Soleimani is an Iranian Major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and since 1998 commander of its Quds Force—a division primarily responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations.

Organizations of the Iranian Revolution

Many organizations, parties and guerrilla groups were involved in the Iranian Revolution. Some were part of Ayatollah Khomeini's network and supported the theocratic Islamic Republic movement, while others did not and were suppressed. Some groups were created after the fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty and still survive; others helped overthrow the Shah but no longer exist.

Hossein Taeb Head of the Iranian Intelligence service

Hossein Taeb is an Iranian Shia cleric and military person who is currently the head of the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Sane Jaleh Iranian protester

Sane Jaleh also Sanea Jaleh, Saneh Jaleh, or Sani Zhaleh was an Iranian student at the University of Arts. He was one of two students shot dead during the February 14, 2011 demonstrations in support of Egyptians and Tunisians for ousting Presidents Hosni Mubarak and Ben Ali, in Tehran, Iran. According to news reports, "rival groups" of pro- and anti-Islamic government protesters "both claim" him and the other slain protester "as one of their supporters."

Mohammad Reza Naqdi commander of Basij paramilitary force of Islamic Republic of Iran

Mohammad Reza Naqdi is a senior officer in the Revolutionary Guards.

Iran–Syria relations Diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria

Syria and Iran are strategic allies. Syria is usually called Iran's "closest ally", with ideological conflict between the Arab nationalism ideology of Syria's secular ruling Ba'ath Party and the Islamic Republic of Iran's pan-Islamist policy notwithstanding. Iran and Syria have had a strategic alliance ever since the Iran–Iraq War, when Syria sided with non-Arab Iran against its fellow Baath-ruled neighbor but enemy Iraq was isolated by some Arab countries. The two countries shared a common animosity towards then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and coordination against the United States and Israel. Syria cooperates with Iran in sending arms to Palestinian groups and Hezbollah in Lebanon, since Israel has attacked Syria. During the Syrian Civil War Iran conducted, alongside Russia, "an extensive, expensive, and integrated effort to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power." Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Russia also form an anti-terrorism alliance that has its headquarters in Baghdad. The governments of United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have designated both nations of Iran and Syria as State Sponsors of Terrorism in part due to support for Lebanese Hezbollah.

National Defence Forces reserve force of Syrias military

The National Defence Forces (NDF) is a pro-government militia, formed after summer 2012 and organized by the Syrian government during the Syrian Civil War as a part-time volunteer reserve component of the Syrian Armed Forces. The NDF is made of units across various Syrian provinces, each of them consists of local volunteers willing to fight against terrorists for various reasons. The NDF has generally positive interaction with the Syrian Democratic Forces. On 20 February 2018, NDF battalions volunteered to support the canton of Afrin against the Turkish-led operation against Afrin.

Iranian involvement in the Syrian Civil War

The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic are close strategic allies, and Iran has provided significant support for the Syrian Government in the Syrian Civil War, including logistical, technical and financial support, as well as training and some combat troops. Iran sees the survival of the Syrian government as being crucial to its regional interests. Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, was reported in September 2011 to be vocally in favor of the Syrian government. When the uprising developed into the Syrian civil war, there were increasing reports of Iranian military support, and of Iranian training of NDF both in Syria and Iran.

Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps 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.

The Student Basij

The Student Basij is considered among the "Islamic student organizations" which was founded based on the decree of the first/previous supreme leader of Iran, Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini on 23 November 1988, with the scope of guardianship for the principles of revolution and Islam. Among its other goals are: inviting unity and likewise the solidarity between Hawza and university, establishment of a great Islamic government and victory of the world by Islam.