Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – IRGC – Formally Designated as a Terrorist Organization.
On Monday, Iran’s IRGC, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was formally designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States, which places it on par with groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. The move has been debated for over a decade, but has not been followed through until now.
This is the first time in our history that the United States has designated the military of another nation as a terrorist organization.
For its part, Iran says it will “retaliate” and “blacklist” the US military.
The White House stated in a press release:
Today, I am formally announcing my Administration’s plan to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including its Qods Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft. The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.
This designation will be the first time that the United States has ever named a part of another government as a FTO. It underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments. This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime. It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.
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.
Out of Iran’s 290 parliamentary members, 255 of them issued a statement, according to Iranian state media:
We will answer any action taken against this force with a reciprocal action.
So the leaders of America, who themselves are the creators and supporters of terrorists in the (Middle East) region, will regret this inappropriate and idiotic action. IRNA
The Iranian government said it will designate the US forces as if they were “ISIS (Daesh).”
According to Breitbart, the IRGC has been responsible for killing countless numbers of American service members.
The Counterextremism project reported:
Within the IRGC are the Basij militia and the Quds Force (IRGC-QF). The Basij, literally “mobilization,” is a paramilitary organization charged with channeling popular support for the Iranian regime. The Basij is famous for its recruitment of volunteers, many of them teenage children, for human wave attacks during the Iran-Iraq war. Today, the Basij has two missions: to provide defensive military training to protect the regime against foreign invasion, and to suppress domestic anti-regime activity through street violence and intimidation. After the contested 2009 Iranian presidential elections, for example, the Basij brutally quashed protests and attacked student dormitories.
The IRGC’s Quds Force specializes in foreign missions, providing training, funding and weapons to extremist groups, including Iraqi insurgents, Hezbollah, and Hamas. The Quds Force allegedly participated in the 1994 suicide bombing of an Argentine Jewish community center, killing more than 80 and wounding about 300. In the years since, the Quds Force has armed anti-government militants in Bahrain, and assisted in a 2011 assassination attempt on Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States. The Quds Force also plays a key role in support of Syrian regime forces in that country’s civil war.
The IRGC also is one of the most important funding pipelines in Iran, which was part of the reason for this designation. The idea is that pressure will be applied in such as way as to deliver a crushing blow to the terror state.
It will be extremely difficult for nations to negotiate with Iran with this designation in place. Hopefully, the IRGC won’t be killing more of our troops now that they have responded to label the US military as if it were ISIS, but that’s always a possibility.
Featured photo: screenshot via Iranian Press TV