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Documenting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Historian Dr. Annie Tracy Samuel is joined by expert Dr. Eric Lob to discuss her groundbreaking research on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' self-depictions in histories of the Iran-Iraq War and what we can learn from them.

Date & Time

Feb. 17, 2022
11:00am – 12:30pm ET




Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, since its founding in 1979, has been portrayed as many things, ranging from holy warriors to terrorists. But how does this powerful, yet enigmatic organization see itself? More so, how does it try to portray this image to the public, both in Iran and abroad?

In her recent book, The Unfinished History of the Iran-Iraq War: Faith, Firepower, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards (Cambridge, 2021),  Annie Tracy Samuel presents an innovative and compelling history of this organization and, by using the Iran-Iraq War as a focal point, analyzes the links between war and revolution. Tracy Samuel provides an internal view of the IRGC by examining how the Revolutionary Guards have recorded and assessed the history of the war in the massive volume of Persian language publications produced by the organization's top members and units. 

By improving our comprehension of the IRGC's self perception and depictions in the Iran-Iraq War, we can better understand not just the history of the organization, but its roles and power in Iran today. 

Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Middle East Program

The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Read more

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