(MEE) — The United States will designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation, an unprecedented move that will ramp up pressure on the elite force, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The newspaper, citing unidentified officials, said President Donald Trump’s administration will announce the decision as soon as Monday and that concerned defence officials were bracing for the impact.
The officials told the WSJ that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, who have repeatedly railed against Iran, are strong proponents of the designation.
Still, senior military officials, including Marine General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have expressed reservations about it on the grounds that it would have little impact on Iran’s economy while increasing security risks for US troops abroad, the sources said.
A former State Department official cautioned against the move.
“The designation of IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization is precedent setting. Never before has the FTO sanctions tool been directed at a state-body. The future ramifications of this decision will be profound,” Jason Blazakis, the former Counterterrorism Finance and Designations Office director, told the WSJ.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was formed after Iran’s 1979 revolution with a mission to defend the government, in contrast to more traditional military units that protect borders.
The Revolutionary Guards have amassed power within Iran, including holding significant economic interests.
The Guards’ prized unit is the Quds Force, named for the Arabic word for Jerusalem, which supports forces allied with Iran around the region, including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
The Trump administration has already imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran after withdrawing last year from an international agreement under which Tehran drastically scaled back its nuclear programme.
A foreign terrorist designation would make activities of the group more toxic in the view of the United States, with any transactions involving US institutions or individuals subject to restrictions and punishment.
This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us