Iran’s security forces protect a system that protesters want to change

Commander of the Resistance: Amerli Battle: A First-Person Shooter for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards and the Repression of Protests

The intensity of protests that have swept Iran over the past month, with calls to topple the Islamic Republic, have shaken the state. The country’s authoritarian clerical rulers had been preparing for this moment since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which started a conservative theocracy.

The Revolutionary Guards force was created in order to protect against coups and army defections.

With hundreds of thousands of members today, the Guards are Iran’s most powerful military force as well as major players in its economy. Analysts believe that Iran is no longer a theocracy because it is a military state ruled by the Guards.

Along with the domestic police forces, a plainclothes militia known as the Basij, a volunteer force under the umbrella of the Revolutionary Guards, has been on the front lines for weeks, using brutal tactics to try to quash the protests, as it has done in past revolts.

Commander of the Resistance: Amerli Battle is a first-person shooter set in Iraq. Launched in 2022, the game pitches players against Islamic State militants laying siege to a town, based on a real-life event that took place in 2014. The real hero of the title is Qasem Soleimani, a major general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who is under the command of theocratic leadership.

A controversial figure in the regime, killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in 2020, Soleimani was accused by the US of overseeing extrajudicial killings in Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Tank Hunter: A simple game to show the regime that Iran is at risk of invasion: An Iranian soldier destroys tanks in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war

The game was produced by Monadian Media, an offshoot of the Basij Cyberspace Organization—the digital wing of the IRGC’s paramilitary group, the Basij‚ and it is part of an ongoing propaganda effort by the regime to rewrite history and mythologize its leading figures.

The game that is widely considered to be Iran’s first, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves of Baghdad, was created in 1995 by an independent developer, Ramin Azizi. The state launched its first game a year later. Called Tank Hunter, it was a simple shooting game in which the player took the role of an Iranian soldier, destroying Iraqi tanks during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war—a foundational event in the Republic, and one which is still used by the regime to create a sense of fear that the country is at risk of invasion.

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