Iran: The IRGC and the Natural Gas Projects

The energy sector is Iran’s richest source of revenue, accounting for around 80 percent of the country’s exports. The IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) is the largest single contractor in the Iranian oil and gas sectors today.

Thanks to its growing political power, the economic and development wing of the IRGC, known as Khatam al-Anbia (Seal of the Prophets), has in recent years obtained a series of multi-billion dollar contracts in the energy sector in Iran.

These include, for example, a US$ 2.5 billion contract for the development of phases 15 and 16 of the massive South Pars gas field, which straddles Iran and Qatar. The Guard is also set to build a 900-kilometer gas pipeline for transporting natural gas within Iran – a project worth US$ 1.3 billion.

Through its control of the relevant ministries, the IRGC in effect awards these projects to itself. No process of competitive tender takes place.

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