In the past week the US President Donald Trump signed a Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.
The Act – H. R. 3364 requires the US President to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. The IRGS are answerable to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and play a highly capable part in Iran’s military. The Revolutionary Guards state that their role in protecting the Islamic system is preventing foreign interference as well as coups by the military or “deviant movements”.
The new US sanctions include designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) itself, its Aerospace Forces, Navy and the Basij militia as terrorist organizations.
This is the first time when the U.S. has designated the officially military branch of a foreign country as a terrorist organization.
The terrorist designation will also be applied to Iran’s foreign agents and affiliates and will be implemented by October 30. The Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 will freeze all the assets of the targeted organization and its supporters and isolating them from the US financial system. So the US administration is continuing to head for a direct confrontation with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The law’s Sec. 105 (3) states “The IRGC, not just the IRGC-QF (the Qods Force, the Guard’s extraterritorial branch), is responsible for implementing Iran’s international program of destabilizing activities, support for acts of international terrorism, and ballistic missile program”.
The United States has already blacklisted dozens of entities and people for affiliations with the IRGC. In 2007, the U.S. Treasury designated the IRGC’s Quds Force, its elite unit in charge of its operations abroad, “for its support of terrorism,” and has said it is Iran’s “primary arm for executing its policy of supporting terrorist and insurgent groups.”
Last month the IRGC warned the United States that it would respond if it was designated as a terrorist organization. “Equating the IRGC with terrorist organizations and applying similar sanctions against it poses a serious threat to USA, its bases and forces deployed in the region”. said Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri. Baqeri also confirmed that Iran’s missile program is defensive and will never be subject of negotiations.
The United States claims that the Iranian missile program is contrary to the nuclear agreement. However the agreement did not include any condition related to the Iranian missile program. Moreover, The United States claims that the Iranian missile program is a direct threat to its allies in America and the Persian Gulf.
However, Iran claims that the real goal of the United States is to secure Israel only. Furthermore U.S. Gulf allies had long sought a tougher U.S. stance against Iran, whom they blame for regional interference.