Analysis by PMOI/MEK
April 19, 2019 - The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has been listed on the U.S State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), a necessity emphasized by the Iranian Resistance for years.
Blacklist the IRGC has been a turning point in a long battle between the Iranian opposition group People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and the mullahs’ regime.
As a result of the tireless efforts of the MEK and the resistance of the Iranian people against the religious fascism, and recent changes in U.S. policy, the IRGC has entered a tunnel that should have been driven into many years ago.
This Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation is the same blacklisting that Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was able to have the PMOI/MEK placed into for years. This was with assistance of his con president Mohammad Khatami during discussions with the American government at the time. However, with the U.S. government changing its policies and the appeasement strategy fading away, it is now the religious fascism being placed on this list. The FTO list paved the path for the MEK’s bombardment, suppression, disarmament and besieging. Now it is time to hold the regime accountable.
The IRGC report card
The IRGC is a reactionary terrorist military force established on April 22, 1972, under the command of Javad Mansouri with the objective of safeguarding the mullahs’ regime.
The suppression of young protestors who objected to Khomeini’s hijacking of the revolution, crackdown against women under the pretext of improper hijabs, and most importantly, the constant attacks against the MEK and their headquarters, were the early actions of this malign regime. Oppressing the long-suffering people of Kurdistan and other protesting ethnic minorities by the IRGC took place in the first years of the religious dictatorship of regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini.
During the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq, the IRGC organized campaigns of sending of minors to minefields. After the war, the IRCG evolved into dispatching terrorists and mercenaries to nearby countries. Abdullah Abdullahi, the then commander of the IRGC-linked Khatam al-Anbia Construction Company, said the IRCG became the largest financial institution in the Middle East, performing thousands of projects and super projects. They eliminated generations of private companies and took advantage of every possible opportunity. They gathered an enormous amount of wealth and power, evolving into a government larger than the regime’s official government. A government that according to Hassan Rouhani, the current President of Iran, has independent power, weapons and its own media.
A force that, according to an IRGC veteran Mohsen Rafikdoost became so rich that it auctioned more than 400 of its holdings in one night.
“The holding firm was established during Mr. Foruzandeh's reign and it was a positive measure. When I came to the foundation it had 800 companies, 400 of which I closed down or sold,” Rafighdoost said to Hamshahri online on February 11, 2018.
The IRGC, according to former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “has several secret airfields and dozens of lagoons, and relies heavily on its borders and customs for its transactions. Also, due to having access to air, sea and land forces, and having its own independent intelligence agencies, it is a complete self-sufficient government wining the biggest state projects by using government loans without paying taxes. After completing the work, it even becomes a creditor for the government.”
As a machine of terror, the IRGC has been carrying out terrorist operations around the world, from the United States to Africa, Asia and Europe, and has been convicted in various courts of different countries.
A look at the regime’s budget for the year of 2019 shows that 33 percent of the country's military budget is allocated to the IRGC. This amounts to about 303 trillion rials (equal to around $6.4 billion). In the budget bill of 2016, the assigned budget for the IRGC Quds Forces was 10 trillion rials (equal to around $ 213 M).
The regime's budget for ballistic missiles was roughly the equivalent to the IRGC Quds Force, but as there was no budget line for these funds in 2019, it shows that all these announced budgets are demonstrative, and the main budget of this institution is provided elsewhere with different amounts.
Anyhow, the IRGC was designated by the U.S. Department of State on April 19 as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
History of IRGC designation discussions
The subject of the IRGC designation is one of the oldest and preliminary demands raised by the people and the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the entity originated in the early years of the fall of the Shah’s dictatorship.
Since the first days of announcing the official IRGC founding, the PMOI/MEK warned the international community about this force literally hunting down dissidents. The PMOI/MEK the realized the IRGC’s mission early on and the international community only followed suit after it was too late.
Confrontations between the PMOI/MEK & the IRGC
The PMOI/MEK and the IRGC have a 40 year confrontation history. The grounds have changed, however, following the changes in balance of power between the people and the regime, especially after the 2018 uprising. Also, all countries have reevaluated their relationships with this religious fascism of Iran and they have chosen to distance themselves from the mullahs.
Rouhani’s speech in the regime’s Majlis parliament on August 28, 2018 is a necessary reminder.
“The people suddenly noticed that some demonstrations are taking place on the streets on December 26, 2017, and slogans gradually turning into norm-changing and unacceptable ones. The people were amazed, and the incident was an unlikely event. This incident encouraged [U.S. President Donald] Trump to announce in late January that he would exit the [2015 Iran nuclear deal] unless Europe joins him on Iran’s ballistic missile issue."
Undoubtedly, the most important factor in changing the balance of power across the globe and the Middle East is the existence of an internal factor, being the Iranian people’s uprising and efforts of the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK, the organization that has focused on overthrowing the regime for many years and will not take a step back.
Now, based on this internal factor and the change in U.S. policy, the balance of power has reached a point where the the IRGC has been rightfully designated as an FTO.
Following new sanctions imposed by Washington against Tehran and the IRGC, the state-run newspaper Kayhan, known as Khamenei’s mouthpiece, warned back in June 2017 about a possibility of the IRGC’s FTO designation.
"In the new laws for sanctions, the United States will no longer limit the IRGC to the Quds Force, and with the sanctions expanding, they will be responsible for America’s unwarranted allegations of supporting international terrorism.”
In fact, this law seeks to blame the IRGC and its related individuals around the world by blocking their assets and prohibiting their transactions. Since there are various individuals and institutions either inside Iran, such as the government, state media (Seda va Sima), universities, companies, etc. or people and organizations outside of the country, these sanctions will also disrupt Iran’s benefits at the national level. Based on the definitions mentioned in the introduction of these sanctions, foreigners are defined as Non-Americans, which means that every person around the world will be sanctioned if they are linked to the IRGC."
There were a few serious issues raised in the Kayhan article.
Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of this newspaper and one of Khamenei’s close confidants, mentioned the "negative effects of normalizaing trade and economic relations with Iran was so obvious."
Keyhan also states: "This law seeks to accuse the IRGC of terrorism and thus block assets belonging to the IRGC and its affiliated individuals, and prohibiting their transactions. Since the various individuals and institutions inside or outside of Iran, including governments, media, universities, and companies are related to this organization, the sanctions will disrupt the economic benefits of Iran at the national level”.
As mentioned, there are various individuals and institutions either inside the country or abroad that are related to the IRGC. This is a proof of to what extent this suppressive organization has dominated the economy of Iran.
IRGC, a criminal and looting organization!
It is not necessary to reiterate the fact that from day one the IRGC was established to “vanguard the revolution” against the United States, or as the regime calls it, “The Great Satan.”
However, this organization quickly turned into a hunter of dissidents and Iran’s younger generation became the main source of sending youngsters to the battlefields of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War. During the war and afterwards, the IRGC transformed into the largest contractor in the Middle East and forced all other private and public companies into bankruptcy. The IRGC also became involved in other sections of the economy and financial affairs, evolving into what has become a cancerous disease plaguing Iran’s economy. Therefore, when it comes to being sanctioned by another country, it will disrupt the economic interests of the mullahs’ reigme.
This is how these criminals were quickly converted from the city hooligans into the owners of large sectors of Iran’s economy during the 1980s. The super-owners who, according to a state-run IRIB TV report on March 18, 2017, earns $60 million a day through the Khatamolanbia oil refinery, an establishment belonging to the IRGC.
Now, on the same day after less than two years of the Kayhan article publication, the IRGC is designated as an FTO.
Signs of change
Now, the MEK is at the highest point of its fighting against this dictatorship, which is facing a massive social uprising amid all existing crises. Simultaneously, millions of Iranians are facing the difficulty of losing their houses and belongings in recent flood, which is also the result of 40 years mismanagement and corruption by this regime. They are struggling with the disaster while having no water, no food and no aid except those provided by generous Iranians coming from adjacent cities to help their compatriots.
Unquestionably, the IRGC’s FTO designation is a moment of a great victory for the Iranian people.