Much attention has been given to the IRGC’s asymmetric defense capabilities, its role in Iraq’s post-2003 insurgency, and its alleged hold over the Strait of Hormuz, but there is little scrutiny in open source literature on the significance of the Iranian Army (Artesh) to Iran’s national security.
As the EU and the United States continue to contain Iran in military, economic, and political terms in order to sway the leadership to accept a mutually acceptable settlement on the nuclear program, Iran’s Army continues to underwrite the country’s national security, checking both threats from within and without.
As the popular unrest that followed the presidential elections in 2009 was gaining momentum, Iran’s internal balance of power depended on the position of the armed forces. However, unlike in 1979 (or Tunisia and Egypt in 2011), the Army never defected, thus allowing the IRGC and the Basij militia force to defend their economic and political stake in the country and crush the Green opposition movement. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AThttp://www.mei.edu/content/iranian-army-tasks-and-capabilities