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Trump Designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as Terrorist Group

Trump Designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as Terrorist Group

The IRGC has close ties to terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which want to wipe Israel off the map.

The White House has officially designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

In a statement, President Donald Trump said that he and the Department of State “recognizes 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” and that the IGRC is the Iranian regime’s “primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”

Pompeo: Designation a “Basic Reality”

This is the first time the American government “has ever named a part of another government as a FTO.” Trump warned others that “[I]f you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the designation of IRGC as a FTO as a “basic reality” and that no one should be surprised by the government’s decision. He said that it “masquerades as a legitimate military organization, but none of us should be fooled.”

With the IRGC now labeled as a FTO, it will “face sanctions that include freezes on assets the IRGC may have in U.S. jurisdictions and a ban on Americans doing business with it.” The government will have the ability “to deny entry to people found to have provided the Guard with material support or prosecute them for sanctions violations.”

History of Bankrolling Hezbollah, Hamas

It’s no secret that the IRGC has close ties to terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas. Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas, bragged about the ties last year. From i24news:

Speaking in an interview on Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah al-Mayadeen TV channel on Monday translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Sinwar said that Hamas had “greatly developed its capabilities” thanks to friends, “first and foremost the Islamic Republic of Iran,” which was giving “a lot of money, equipment and expertise” to the group’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Sinwar lauded the “strong, powerful and warm” ties Hamas has with Qassam Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Soleimani was said to have been instrumental in the recent barrage of Iranian rocket fire targeting Israeli military positions in the Golan Heights on May 10.

“We have excellent relations with our brothers in Hezbollah,” Sinwar said according to the translated excerpts. “Our relations with them are extremely developed. We work together and coordinate and are in touch on an almost daily basis. The relations are at the best stage ever.”

Hezbollah has grown since 2006 with Iran’s help. A top Hamas official, Saleh al-Arouri, said in January 2018 “that Iran is the only country providing military support to Hamas to fight the ‘Israeli entity.'” From United With Israel:

“Who supported the resistance in Lebanon until it drove out the Israeli entity? It was Iran. Who supports the resistance in Gaza and Palestine? Iran,” he added.

“Our relations with Iran are based on the fact that Iran is the most hostile country in the world toward the Zionist entity. Iran is the only country that says that this entity is cancerous. This is Iran’s official position….The aid Iran provides to the resistance is not merely symbolic. This is real aid, which is essential for the resistance to continue and be effective.”

In January, IRGC General Ramezan Sharif boasted “that today Israel is in its worst conditions and the fighters in Palestine and Lebanon are at the peak of their preparedness to confront any aggression by the Zionists and end the disgraceful life of the fake and criminal regime.”

Last month, IRGC Commander Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari told a magazine that Hezbollah’s missiles can reach all of Israel. From The Jerusalem Post:

“The current status quo and the current capabilities of the Resistance Front of the Islamic Revolution are all the unique accomplishments of the Islamic Revolution which cannot be verbally described and they rather should be sensed,” he said in an interview with the Persian-language Soroush Magazine.

“While they once dreamed of their territorial expansion from the Nile River to the Euphrates River, and they were after realizing this wish in the past 50 years, today you can see that they have been unable to expand their land even for an inch; they even have lost some of the territories they had already occupied and are under full siege from all around their borders,” he continued.

“To put it in a nutshell, we can say that the enemy has not been successful in the region and all its plots and operations have ended up with nothing but failure for them and success for the Islamic Revolution and the Resistance Front,” Jafari said.

[Featured image via YouTube]


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And the pearl-clutching from the Left begins with wild wailing and screeching about how dare the Trump administration do this!

(While ordinary Americans look at the announcement and quietly muse “Why weren’t they on the list before?”)

JusticeDelivered | April 8, 2019 at 11:28 am

Please, can we start taking out Iran’s 40+ water reservoirs/hydroelectric dams? That would make their lives much more miserable and make it much harder to keep those centrifuges running. Cleaning flush, too much water, then not enough water, a double whammy.

    Halcyon Daze in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 8, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    We’re not at war with the Iranian people, just the government that holds them hostage.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Halcyon Daze. | April 9, 2019 at 5:15 pm

      Are you suggesting that the people of Iran are not responsible for allowing the regime to persist, or that Iran can be toppled without civilians paying a price?

      Iran’s reservoirs and hydroelectric dams are legitimate targets. They have had no qualms with attacking civilians in the west, therefore there should be no qualms about reacting in kind.

        Halcyon Daze in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 10, 2019 at 10:09 am

        Let’s not saddle the populace with punitive measures. The mullahs have oppression covered well enough. Direct your efforts to them and theirs.

This is a ridiculous action and will only result in problems down the road.

By designating the IRGC a “terrorist organization” it reduces the responsibility, of the nation of Iran, for the actions of the Corps. Essentially, the designation turns the IRGC from a part of a nation into an extra-state actor, like Hamas and Hezbollah. And, this reduces the responsibility that the government of Iran has, with regard to financing and controlling the existing terrorist groups, which it sponsors, such as Hamas.

Iran is already listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. The IRGC is a part of the Iranian government and state. Therefor, Iran is directly responsible for the actions of the IRGC, However, by designating the IRGC as a “terrorist organization”, the US government suggests that it is not directly controlled by the government of Iran and is, therefor, outside the jurisdiction of that state. As a TO, its activities in another country would be considered those of an autonomous organization, such as Al Qaeda or Hezbollah, rather than those of a nation state, which has responsibilities, and faces penalties under international compacts.

It is also difficult to see how this would allow the US to legally freeze of seize any financial assets of the IRGC, whch may be found in US jurisdictions, as those assets would also belong to the state of Iran and would only be subject to seizure under sanctions against Iran, specifically. It also makes it more complicated for the US to interact with existing governments which have any contact with the IRGC. We already have a problem in Jordan, where Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization, is part of the government there.

This only makes sense if one accepts the fact that it is the brainchild of a group, within the government, which wants to increase tensions in the Middle East.

    Arminius in reply to Mac45. | April 8, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    This is horrible analysis. If any of it were true, such as it somehow reduces the Iranian government’s culpability because it “suggests” that the government of Iran isn’t really in control as if we have somehow designated the IRGC an independent entity, the Mullah’s wouldn’t be so incensed. Instead we have joined the Iranian government at the hip with a terrorist organization.

    One effect it will have almost immediately is that it makes it nearly impossible for U.S. companies to do business with any state operated entity in Iran. And other countries as well. Because since the IRGC is an integral part of the Iranian defense establishment any dealings with state entity is providing material support to a terrorist organization. It’s comingled; it’s impossible to separate the IRGC from the Iranian government financially because the IRGC is the Iranian government.

    Somehow you imagine that we have somehow given the Mullah’s plausible deniability. It’s the exact opposite.

      Arminius in reply to Arminius. | April 8, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      When I say the IRGC is the Iranian government that is literally true at every level. The Mullahs never trusted the regular armed forces and needed a separate, fanatically loyal force as a counterweight.

      No IRGC, no Iranian theocracy.

      Had we had similar laws in the run up to WWII and designated the Waffen SS a terrorist organization would you have said we just let the Third Reich off the hook?

      Mac45 in reply to Arminius. | April 8, 2019 at 3:33 pm

      You have it backwards.

      At the moment, th government of Iran, as well as every Iranian company and entity is subject to sanctions, both because of its continued violations of the Iran Nuclear Deal and because it is a recognized state sponsor of terrorism. As long as the IRGC is part of the Iranian government, its personnel and anyone who does business with those personnel are subject to US sanctions.

      However, what the declaration of assigning the status of Foreign Terrorist Organization to the IRGC, but not to the Islamic Republic of Iran, does is imply that the IRGC is separate from the government of Iran. As the IRGC is part of the government of Iran and acts for the government, as does every other bureau and department of the government, the government of Iran is directly responsible for the actions of the IRGC, including any terrorist act that it may perform. Therefor, if the IRGC is a terrorist organization, then the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is also. But, the US government did not so designate the entire state of Iran, only part of the government. This would only be possible if the US considered the IRGC to be a separate entity, divorced from the government of Iran, And, that serves to insulate the government of Iran from culpability for the actions of the IRGC.

      The Waffen SS, in fact the entire SS, officially became part of the government of Germany, though it began as the armed force of the NAZI Party Schutzstaffel. Because of that, the leadership of the Reich, especially those in direct control of the SS, were responsible for the actions of that organization. The NAZI Party, while in control of the government of NAZI Germany politically, was actually a separate entity and not directly part of the government of NAZI Germany. It was essentially the same situation as that existing between the Republican Party and the US Government in 2017.

      The IRGC is officially part of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and has always been a part of the country’s military since its inception in 1979 [it is even specifically addressed in Iran’s Constitution]. It is inseparable from the current government of Iran, so designating it as a specific Terrorist Organization sets up certain legal problems where assigning responsibility for its actions to the greater government of Iran are concerned.

      Mac45 in reply to Arminius. | April 8, 2019 at 3:47 pm

      As I mentioned, the biggest problem with designating the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization is that it sets up the legal fiction that the IRGC is not a formal part of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Being a recognized terrorist organization, any nation can take action against members of that organization without having to observe the niceties of declaring war on a sovereign nation. And, these other nations can legitimately enter other countries to engage these terrorist organizations, of those countries fail to act. Do you think that there might be a very good reason why Israel and Saudi Arabia, among other states in the Middle East, support this move? Remember, last year Israel invaded Syrian territory and attacked concentrations of Iranian troops, mostly IRGC units, which had not attacked Israel. This was technically an act of war against the nation of Syria. But, now, Syria can be accused of harboring a terrorist organization, if it allows Iran’s IRGC forces to remain in its territory and Israel is free to invade Syria to attack those same Iranian units.

      Now, think of the problem such a designation would cause if it were applied to US Special Forces or the CIA? They, like the IRGC, are part of a recognized national government. This designation was not well thought out.

        Arminius in reply to Mac45. | April 8, 2019 at 6:34 pm

        The idea that designating the IRGC a FTO somehow makes it an entity is independent entity is a legal fiction, a rational fiction, a practical fiction, indeed, just a fiction in every sense of the word.

        Sorry, but that level of analysis is just a joke. It’s like claiming that you can feed one conjoined Siamese twin without doing business with the other when they share a liver, a respiratory system, and a digestive system. If you feed one, you are feeding the other.

        The whole point is that there is no daylight between the Iranian regime and the IRGC because they are one and the same. This designation doesn’t change that reality.

        But I’m willing to compromise. How about we rescind this FTO designation and declare each attack on American troops in the sandbox using an advanced Iranian IED, or Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) overwhelmingly supplied by the IRGC’s al Quds force a straight up act of war and then we can really go to town?

        I laughed out loud when I read some of the apocalyptic analysis. “You know,” said the sages, “If we declare the IRGC a terrorist organization they’ll treat US forces as FTOs.” Genius! Has everyone not been paying attention? That’s exactly how they’ve been treating us for years. So, sure enough, the Mullahcracy designated CENTCOM and U.S. forces in the M.E. “terrorists.” Again, that put a smile on face. That changes what, exactly? How?

        All this FTO designation amounts to is that we have finally admitted we have had scales on our eyes and it’s long past time we shed them. All it means is that we are no longer going to be willfully blind.

        But apparently that’s wishful thinking on my part. I want a government policy that means it when it says we are no longer willfully blind…

        I won’t continue that analogy out of respect.

          Mac45 in reply to Arminius. | April 8, 2019 at 9:13 pm

          Once again, you miss the point.

          Because the IRGC is a part of the Iranian military, any action by the IRGC can be considered an act of war, or other violation of international law or compact, by the Islamic Republic of Iran. And, any action taken against the IRGC can be considered an act of war against Iran, unless the action is direct self defense against attack by the IRGC. But, if the IRGC is designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, it becomes legally separable from the Islamic Republic of Iran and can be attacked anywhere its members are found, without such an attack being considered an act of war against Iran. It is simply enforcement activity against a designated terrorist organization, not against a part of a state government.

          What this does, is allow Israel, and any other state actor, to attack the IRGC, legally, without having to worry about silly little things such as acts of war and invasion of sovereign territory. And, the only reason that this is a reality is because the most powerful military nation on the planet is backing them up. The US invaded Syrian territory on the premise that it was engaging a Foreign Terrorist Organization, ISIS/L. They did this because it is the current international standard that FTOs can be engaged in the sovereign territory of another nation, if that nation does not engage that organization itself. So, how would the designation of the IRGC as an FTO aid Israel in dealing with units of the IRGC, which are in Syria?

          Remember, the IRGC is an organ of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. That makes the government of Iran liable for the actions of the IRGC. If the IRGC commits an action which would be considered an act of war, the aggrieved nation can declare war on Iran, or seek other avenues of redress. But, the IRGC has to commit a violation of international norms or compacts, in order for that to happen. Otherwise, all the presence of IRGC units in Syria amounts to is a presence of foreign troops authorized by the sovereign government of Syria. This is the same as US troops stationed in Germany, Japan, Korea and every other foreign deployment in the world, where the host country authorizes such deployment. But, if the IRGC is designated by the US as Foreign Terrorist Organization, the presence of those troops is now not allowed. And, attacking these units is now permissible without any provocation. Why do you think that Iran is now withdrawing such units from Syria?

          How does this effect the US? It allows the government of the US to argue that attacking IRGC units is not an act of war against Iran. In addition, what would this do to the CIA? The CIA actively assisted groups to overthrow the government of Libya and attempt to overthrow the government of Syria. In both cases, they assisted designated FTOs in this activity. How is this different from the activities of Iran through the IRGC part of its government? What about similar actions by US Special Forces, over the years? This action puts the US on a slippery slope. It is ill advised.

          There are reasons why the IRGC was designated by the US as a FTO. They have nothing to do with the support of terrorist organizations by the IRGC. They are all about the short term convenience of the US. If another nation wishes to charge illegal acts of aggression against them by the government of Iran, it is free to declare war against Iran and engage it militarily with its military and the military of its allies. The US did this, with the rest of the coalition, against Iraq for the invasion of Kuwait. And, that is how Iran should be handled militarily. Not by hiding behind vague, legal fictions.

    MattMusson in reply to Mac45. | April 8, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    The Latest Pentagon report says that 1 out of 5 US Soldiers killed in Iraq were killed by IRGC.

      Arminius in reply to MattMusson. | April 8, 2019 at 6:44 pm

      Do you have a link to that report? I didn’t think the IRGC accounted for 20% of U.S. fatalities. Of course, I could be wrong; I retired from the Naval intelligence business in 2008. On the other hand, whatever the number happens to be it’s still far to high.

      And this country’s preferred strategy of shutting its eyes and hoping the monster under the bed will just go away isn’t working.

UnCivilServant | April 8, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Should have done it for the Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR.

What about Antifa?

What Americans would be doing business with those guys, anyway?

Trump also should declare the Democrat Organization as terrorists. Haven’t they tried to overthrow a lawfully elected administration?
Isn’t that sedition?