By Shahriar Kia
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
There are serious discussions in the new U.S. administration weighing the designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist designation. This unprecedented and yet necessary step would be the signal Washington should have sent Tehran long ago.
The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has also provided new information on the IRGC expanding its measures inside Iran to train new recruits for its proxy terrorist groups across the region and continue wreaking havoc in the already hostile Middle East flashpoint.
In a press conference on Tuesday NCRI U.S. Representative Office Deputy Director, Alireza Jafarzadeh provided new details on the IRGC’s notorious training activities. This new data was obtained by the social network of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the main NCRI coalition member, pinpointing and providing further details on IRGC bases used for such purposes.
“By means of its Revolutionary Guards Corps, the mullahs’ regime creates or at the very least expands and strengthens extremist forces, both Shia and Sunni,” he explained.
Two bills reintroduced lately in the Congress designated the (IRGC) as terrorist organizations. There is a definite necessity for the U.S. administration to designate the IRGC as a terrorist entity, as peace and security across the Middle East are under the constant threat of IRGC-supported hostilities.
It is a known fact that Washington has a long of list of disputes and conflicts provoked by Tehran. The IRGC is a force of at least 120,000 armed men, and a known tactic used by IRGC generals is to repeatedly highlight the threat they pose for the west and regional states.
The highly flawed and unjustified appeasement policy vis-à-vis Iran was literally enriched by the Obama administration, allowing senior IRGC commanders describe the U.S. as a “paper tiger”.
The Trump administration should remain focused on the very dangerous measures and actions practiced by Iran through the IRGC. This long slate includes Iran’s involvement in Syria and the region, the regime’s nuclear program, ballistic missile aspirations and the horrific status of human rights in Iran.
Parallel to these alarming trends, IRGC intelligence currently holds in custody a number of American citizens specifically detained in Tehran prisons, normally held under vague charges.
The regime in Iran is also the founding father of an anti-democracy viewpoint and known to spread such a dangerous sectarian mentality amongst a conglomerate of different militia across the region trained in Iran, as explained in the recent NCRI revelations.
Through a vast apparatus of oppression, the IRGC is also known to devastate the Iranian people’s desire for freedom. This is quite vivid through the repressive measures carried out by the IRGC paramilitary Basij, particularly targeting Iranian women and youth.
And considering the IRGC’s growing and concerning grip over Iran’s economy, the blacklisting of this highly essential entity for the mullahs will curb Tehran’s ability to finance havoc-spreading measures across the Middle East.
To make it simple, in developing its Iran policy, the Trump White House should take into consideration the fact that the IRGC leadership’s words and actions are on par with that of those sitting on the throne in Tehran.
In the meantime, the Iranian regime has to this day successfully deceived the West, with the support of the pro-appeasement camp, in depicting an image of IRGC-backed hardliners against so-called moderates/reformists. This weakened any possible response by the international community and emboldened the IRGC to in fact escalate its belligerent measures.
And to those who claim the IRGC is of suicidal nature and will retaliate against U.S. administration action, they are completely out of the ballpark and most likely follow a specific lobbying effort. The IRGC fully safeguards the higher interests of the Iranian regime and a strong position adopted by Washington will most definitely result in a recalibration of their policies.
One such signal was seen when Tehran called off a second ballistic missile test scheduled for Feb. 3, involving the use of intercontinental ballistic missile components.
As Washington seeks measures to push back in the face of the Iranian regime spreading its IRGC-spearheaded chaos, the mullahs’ measures have left only the possibility of adopting an attitude based on strong and meaningful measures.
If gone unchallenged by the new U.S. administration, rest assured Tehran will continue its hellbent efforts to deepen the already disastrous situation in the Middle East and beyond, and in the process significantly threaten U.S. strategic interests.
To this end, designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization will most certainly deliver a major blow to the mullahs’ efforts, and place America shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian people in their plight to establish freedom, democracy, and a non-nuclear Iran through peaceful regime change.
Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as the MEK). He graduated from North Texas University.