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Sanctions Squeeze Revolutionary Guard

Alireza Nader explains how international sanctions are squeezing Iran's Republican Guard and could lead to compromises by Iran's leadership in the nuclear talks.
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.

A worshipper pastes a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a flag and a Persian script that reads, "Hey Khamenei" on a Revolutionary Guard uniform as he attends Friday prayers in Tehran February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN - Tags: POLITICS RELIGION MILITARY)

Sanctions on Iran have no doubt hurt the Iranian people, most of whom are unable to directly shape the Islamic Republic’s nuclear policy. But the question remains: Have the sanctions affected the Iranian regime’s nuclear decision-making? More to the point, have sanctions affected the Revolutionary Guard?

Although the benefits of the US sanctions policy are not always tangible, the answer to both questions could very well be yes. The Guard is one of the most powerful economic, political and military actors in Iran today. It is often motivated not only by its devotion to the revolution and the regime, but also by a desire to line its own pockets.

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