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U.S. imposes new sanctions on Iran’s IRGC, other terror groups

U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin & Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during Press briefing- September 2019
U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin & Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during Press briefing- September 2019

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran September 11, 2019—The United States announced new sanctions on Tuesday targeting the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force, along with a long list of other terrorist groups and individuals described as a "wide range of terrorists and their supporters." The list includes Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, both known to be supported by the mullahs’ regime, along with al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Washington designated Iran’s IRGC as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” back in April.

The sanctions are pinpointing measures against 15 leaders, individuals, and entities associated with the IRGC, Hamas, al-Qaeda, and ISIS, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Treasury Department.

U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the new measures launched by Washington.

Among the individuals sanctioned are Muhammad Said Izad, a senior figure with the IRGC units stationed in Lebanon, and described as the “chief” figure of the “IRGC ­Quds Force Lebanon Corp.”

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Effective Monday, April 15, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) was officially designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States.

The US Federal Register published a statement by the US State Department announcing the formal designation of the IRGC in its FTO list. Decisions published in the US Federal Register indicates the formality of that subject.

US President Donald Trump announced the IRGC designation on April 8. Pursuant to this decision, the White House issued a statement saying the US President holds the Iranian regime accountable for its terrorist activities. This action by the US is against the regime in Iran and not the Iranian people, who themselves are the first victims of this regime and have suffered greatly under the mullahs’ rule.

The White House statement quoting the US President reads in part:

“This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences.  We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior.”

Following the IRGC’s FTO designation, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), reiterated the necessity of blacklisting the IRGC as a terrorist organization. She recalled how the Iranian Resistance had declared many times in the past that the terrorist listing of the IRGC in its entirety is imperative for Middle East peace and security.

This designation, which should have been implemented long ago, should be coupled with the designation of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), Mrs. Rajavi added.

Iranian regime’s officials and media were extremely disturbed after the US government designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, IRGC, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, FTO.

“When a group or an organization is designated as foreign terrorist organization, the entire security, intelligence and military apparatus of the United States get involved in confronting this terrorist entity, and would kill or capture any of its elements when they are caught,” said Amir-Ali Abolfath, a regime analyst after the IRGC was designated as terrorist organization.

“If this designation becomes final, all of the IRGC forces, basis, and infrastructure would be considered the legitimate terrorist targets and a US military attack on forces and infrastructure would become warranted,” added Abolfathi referring to the terrorist Quds force footprint in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere.

Abolfathi’s comments published by Donyaye Eghtesad (The economic world), a government-run newspaper on April 6 referred to the US claims that the IRGC has complete domination and control over Iran’s economy and if this designation is approved, the US government would seek the withdrawal of Iran’s business counterparts outside the country from doing business with Iran or face penalties.


Paving the way for social protests

Warning of the consequences, the terrorist designation of the IRGC would have, Ali Khorram, former Iranian regime envoy to China saying, “Such a move would pave new ways for social unrest in Iran. Since the recent protests in Iran were centered on economic shortcomings such as skyrocketing inflation and unemployment, shortage of goods and services, environmental crisis and even people’s anger toward the government, the designation would turn these economic grievances into political demands. Even if the social problems we are facing result in only economic complaints, it would be foreseeable to consider that the protesters accuse the government the main responsible party for their problems,” wrote the state-run Hamdeli newspaper on April 7.


Economic failure and the fear of people’s rage

The consequences of the IRGC’s FTO designation has shaken the regime down to its bones. Not just the fear of economic bankruptcy, but also the fear of military repercussion has turned in to the regime’s nightmare.

“Without any doubt, these sanctions following the economic disasters and Iran’s regional and global policies, to American senators, would be a way to break the back of the country’s economy,” the same Hamdeli newspaper wrote corroborating on the FTO designation repercussion.

Iran regime’s groaning for the IRGC being the target, and the fear of complete economic breakdown due to this designation, comes at a time where this anti-human and repressive force inside Iran is the target of the people’s rage.

The recent flash floods in most parts of Iran, coupled with the government reluctance to send relief to the devastated areas has boiled the social anger and hatred over at the regime’s officials.

It, therefore, is obvious that the regime’s major concern of ‘new outbreak of social protests’ together with ‘the turning off of the economy’ demonstrates the regime’s fear of the upsurge of nationwide protests and a drive towards the toppling of the regime.


IRGC’s role in prolonging the regime’s life

The truth of the matter is that the anti-human IRGC is an essential tool for internal repression and for export of terrorism to outside. This illegitimate force controls a major portion of the country’s economy and its first and foremost duty is to salvage the Velayat-e Faqih (the guardianship of clergies). This tool has been essential in prolonging the miserable life of the regime. IRGC fearing the outburst of people’s rage on the very early days of the flash floods played the role of the regime’s guardianship. The Fajr Corps in Fars Province, southeastern Iran, issued a statement bullying the people and the Iranian opposition, the PMOI/MEK.

The IRGC commanders went to some of the flood-hit areas on the early days of the disaster playing their repressive and brutal role. Instead of concentrating on the relief efforts for the flood-hit areas, herds of repressive forces were dispatched to confront any outburst of anger, but, they, none the less, were met with a tough response from the residents and especially the youth.

Considering the importance of the role of the IRGC in securing and prolonging the shameful life of the Velayat-e Faqih, the FTO designation would be like “purring water into the ant’s nest” causing fear and concern amongst government officials.