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Geopolitics

Will Iran's Revolutionary Guards Make A "Sacrifice" To Help Seal Nuclear Deal?

A dispute between Iran's foreign minister and a leading regime hardliner over whether to insist on removing the paramilitary from the "terrorist" list indicates divisions in the Islamic Republic over what kind of nuclear deal it wants with the West.

Photo of people in front of missiles in the streets of Tehran as part of a ​military parade by the paramilitary Revolutionary Guards in Tehran on Jan. 7

Military parade by the paramilitary Revolutionary Guards in Tehran on Jan. 7

-Analysis-

It has been a sticking point in the negotiations to revive the 2015 pact regulating Iran's nuclear program: Tehran had insisted that the Revolutionary Guards, the elite military unit founded by Ayatollah Khomeini, be taken off the list of global terrorist groups. Western negotiators were told the condition was a "red line" if any deal was to be reached.

But recently, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian suggested the regime may not insist on the West removing the Guards from the sanctioned list, with the powerful military wing's willingness to make a "sacrifice" for the state's interests and "selflessly" aid talks to revive the pact and help end crippling sanctions on Iran.

Over the years, the Revolutionary Guards, formed soon after the 1979 revolution, have become a mix of domestic power brokers, politicized army, regional intervention force and big-business holding.

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In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 83: Finland And Sweden In NATO? It Just Got Complicated

Turkey's Erdogan puts up a veto, while Orban's Hungary plays it coy. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin throws a curveball.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Shaun Lavelle, Irene Caselli, and Emma Albright

Following Finland’s and Sweden’s historic decisions to apply for NATO membership, major questions are emerging as to how quickly — if at all — they will become actual members of the military alliance.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, a longstanding NATO member, surprised some observers by coming out strongly against Nordic countries joining.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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"Neither of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organisations. How can we trust them?" Erdogan said on Monday. Turkey has accused Nordic countries, particularly Sweden, of harboring extremist Kurdish groups as well as supporters of U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, a longstanding Erdogan nemesis whom Turkey blames for the 2016 coup attempt.

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