by Geoffrey Grinder, Now The End Begins:
The Trump administration is designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, taking an unprecedented step as it seems to increase pressure on Iran’s regime.
It was long overdue, but today President Trump took another unprecedented step and formally designated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps as the terror group that it is. Now, any country that has dealings with the group could face criminal charges for aiding and abetting terrorism. Naturally, Iran is furious. This is not the type of treatment they had come to enjoy when Barack Obama was president. Not by a long shot.
The timing for this couldn’t be better when you consider that Iran right at this moment is working furiously to establish an expanded military stronghold in Syria from which to continue its attacks on the nation of Israel. Add to this Trump’s recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and you can see why Iran might be upset. This is why I voted for Trump and why he continues to have my support. This move will have the added value of boosting Netanyahu’s popularity at the polls tomorrow. Go get’em, Bibi!
U.S. Labels Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps As A Foreign Terrorist Organization
FROM NPR: The move seems certain to bring a new level of tension between the two countries, as Iran’s leaders have said they will retaliate in kind. Iranian lawmakers have prepared legislation that would label part of the U.S. military as a terrorist group, according to Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency.
President Trump announced the designation Monday morning, in a shift from the decades in which the U.S. has viewed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.
“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,” Trump said in a White House statement. “The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”
In response, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged his government to add the Pentagon’s U.S. Central Command to its own list of terrorist organizations, IRNA reports.
WITH THE U.S. DESIGNATION, ANYONE WHO DEALS WITH THE REVOLUTIONARY GUARD COULD RUN THE RISK OF FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES, SUCH AS AIDING OR SUPPORTING A TERRORIST GROUP. “IF YOU ARE DOING BUSINESS WITH THE IRGC, YOU WILL BE BANKROLLING TERRORISM,” TRUMP SAID.
It’s the first time the U.S. has declared an element of a foreign government to be a terrorist organization, the Trump administration says. The Revolutionary Guard now joins ISIS, Boko Haram and other groups on the U.S. list of terrorist groups.
Laying out the administration’s reasoning for the designation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed a string of attacks and violent plots, which he said gave “ample justification for today’s decision.”
Among the cases cited by Pompeo were two that directly involved the U.S.: the 1996 Khobar Towers apartment complex bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American service members and wounded dozens more; and a 2011 case in which the Obama administration said it had foiled a Quds Force plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in a bombing in Washington, D.C.
Today, the White House sees the IRGC as an “active and enthusiastic participant in acts of terror,” a senior administration official said in a background briefing held shortly before Pompeo discussed the announcement Monday morning.
Accusing Iran of using the Revolutionary Guard to try to reshape the Middle East in its favor, another official said the group has amassed too much power and money, which he said it then uses to support attacks on Americans and U.S. assets.
“The Middle East cannot be more stable and peaceful without a weakened IRGC,” the official said.
In recent months, the Trump administration has sought to impose “maximum pressure” on Iran’s regime, after abandoning the nuclear deal brokered during the Obama administration. Even before news emerged of a possible terrorism designation for the Revolutionary Guard, more than 970 Iranian entities and individuals were already under U.S. sanctions.
But the administration is now taking the rare step of designating another country’s military force as a terrorist group.