Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, already an economic, political and military power, is quietly pushing into a new domain: the media.
By March, the Revolutionary Guards plan to launch Atlas, a news agency modeled on services such as the Associated Press and the British Broadcasting Corp., according to semiofficial Iranian news sites. The move comes as the Guards are increasing control over the conservative Fars News Agency, which has become the mouthpiece of the Iranian regime. Fars denies that it is linked to the Guards.
The Revolutionary Guard Corps, whose primary role is internal security, has extended its power into the political, business and media arenas.
On Thursday, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the head of the Basij, a Revolutionary Guard volunteer task force, announced what he called a new era of “super media power” cooperation between the media and the Revolutionary Guards, according to official Iranian news outlets.
Analysts say the Guards aim to control the official account of events coming out of Iran and offer a counternarrative to reports published by independent and reformist media outlets.