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Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution

In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office on Tuesday, Sept 17, 2013, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting of Revolutionary Guard commanders. There's no mistaking the desire of Iran's new president and his allies to open greater contacts with Washington over nuclear talks and possibly other regional crises such as Syria. The only messages that really matter, though, come from the ultimate decision-maker in Tehran: Khamenei. Now, it appears Khamenei is giving President Hasan Rouhani critical room, for the moment at least, to seek potentially ground breaking overtures with Washington. (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)

Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution

Yahoo News

In the fall of 2009, two of Iran's most powerful entities teamed up to participate in the largest deal in the history of the country's stock exchange.

The partners were the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's elite military unit, and a multi-billion dollar business empire known as Setad that is controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Guards and Setad formed a consortium to bid on a controlling stake in Telecommunication Co of Iran, or TCI, which had a near monopoly on landline telephone services. The partners won the stake for $7.8 billion, Iran's largest privatization ever. (Reuters)

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