'People's Army' Dominates Iran's Economy
Doing business in the country means dealing with the Revolutionary Guard
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 26, 2007 11:35 AM CDT
elements accused of developing nuclear weapons and fomenting violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East.(AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Iran's Revolutionary Guard, which the White House is on the cusp of labeling a terrorist organization, is an economic and political behemoth. The well-connected force has ties to more than 100 companies, dominates the construction industry, is in charge of developing Teheran's subway system, and even runs hospitals. The LA Times takes a look.

The "people's army" is so rich that it can operate beyond political oversight, sparking fears that corruption is spreading through the ranks.The Guard was set up to keep the regular military in check, but its tentacles extend throughout the government, and the US is concerned that it's funding clandestine activities at home and abroad.