The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has often portrayed itself as the hi-tech tip of Iran’s revolution. It develops drones and precision missiles that threaten Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US. Now, it is caught up in one of its greatest scandals and blows to its reputation after downing a Ukrainian Airlines civilian jetliner.To deflect criticism at Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Iranian regime has put IRGC Aerospace Division chief Amir Ali Hajizadeh front and center to take the blame. Press TV has reported that he takes full responsibility for the downing of the plane. “We never intended a cover up,” he said. He also “wished he could die,” because he was so sad about the tragedy. It has broken his spirit. Iran’s Tasnim reported that professors have signed a letter of support for the IRGC commander, which shows there is a public campaign being waged to try to salvage his reputation amid calls that not only he should resign, but so should other members of the leadership.IRGC leader Hossein Salami has also expressed regret for the downing of the plane. Salami spoked to a closed-door session of parliament to express his regrets, according to Fars News. He sought to emphasize that despite the accomplishments of the IRGC in firing ballistic missiles, they had also failed and mistakenly shot down the plane. The entire IRGC has been tarnished by this failure.The entire episode shows that the IRGC was hoping to show off its capabilities on January 8 and instead ended up showing that it has major holes in its technological networks. The IRGC has sought to monopolize Iran’s foreign and domestic policies, gobbling up huge resources to fund its offensive strength in rockets, drones and other advanced technologies. However, it also sought to gobble up resources for domestic defense, only to be shown lacking.This is a far cry from June 2019, when it shot down a US drone and mined ships. It now must face criticism.The IRGC sought to leverage Soleimani’s legacy and also his role in places like Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. But its sword has been bent in the killing of 176 passengers and crew, most of them Iranian expats. It is not just embarrassed abroad, but particularly at home.