Iran's Revolutionary Guard Under Sanctions: Outcomes and Implications


As grievances over the violent repression of protestors in Iran continue, some Iranian activists and protestors petition the United Kingdom and the European Union to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the main repressive apparatus of the Iranian government, as a terrorist organization. Recognizing the legal hurdles and the ensuing complications of such designation, UK and EU political leaders have so far refrained. Meanwhile, the IRGC has already been on the United States’ Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list for five years. The experience of the past 5 years juxtaposed to new international concerns about IRGC’s illegal and unconventional activities call for an assessment of potential and actual repercussions of sanctions for the IRGC.

Have sanctions curbed either the IRGC’s paramilitary activities in the Middle East or its domestic repressive power? The lecture addresses this issue by reviewing stated and implied agenda pursued by various proponents of IRGC’s terrorist designation, critical developments of the past five years in response to, or despite, the FTO listing in 2018, and potential scenarios going forward.

This lecture is part of the 'The Oxford School of Global and Area Studies Lecture Series', taking place on Fridays from 2 February to 8 March 2024. You may either register for individual lectures or you may choose to register for the entire lecture series at a reduced price.

Please note: this lecture will close to enrolments at 23:59 on 6 February 2024.

Programme details

Friday 9 February, 2pm–3.15pm UTC (GMT)

The lecture will last approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, followed by questions.

For those attending in person at Rewley House, registration takes place from 1.45pm. Tea and coffee are provided in the Common Room after each lecture, from 3.15pm.

For those joining us online, please join in good time before each lecture to ensure that you have no connection problems. We recommend joining 10-15 minutes before the start time.


Description Costs
Course Fee - in-person attendance (includes tea/coffee) £30.00
Course Fee - virtual attendance £25.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit or are a full-time student in the UK you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Maryam Alemzadeh

Maryam Alemzadeh is Associate Professor in History and Politics of Iran at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA) and a Middle East Centre Fellow. She holds a Ph.D in sociology from the University of Chicago (2018). Maryam’s research interests include revolutions, state building, militias and militaries, and modern Iran, and how to study these phenomena by looking at individual people and actions that create them bit by bit. Currently she is writing a book tentatively titled Practicing Revolution: The Making of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The book is based on first-hand research on the Revolutionary Guards’ first generation of commanders, volunteers, supporters, and critics, as they struggled to find order in chaos on a day-to-day basis.


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.

IT requirements

For those joining us online

We will be using Zoom for the livestreaming of this lecture. If you’re attending online, you’ll be able to see and hear the speakers, and to submit questions via the Zoom interface. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

Please note that this course will not be recorded.