By Sedighe Shahrokhi
At the beginning of the week, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRCG) is being designated as a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO). The media is making a huge deal out of the situation because it is the first time any government of the United States has designated another country’s military as an FTO.
However, it is a big deal because the IRGC has qualified as an FTO for a number of years now and previous governments have ignored this. Finally, a government has the courage to formally recognise the IRGC’s terrorist activities.
Other groups and related individuals have been sanctioned and designated – the Lebanese Hezbollah for example, but now the IRGC that is in charge of the training of these groups, as well as providing extensive financial support, will be treated as the terrorist organisation that it is.
This will have grave consequences for the Iranian regime because it will be placed under even more scrutiny. The threshold regarding proof required for supporting the IRGC is much lower now. However, it also means that foreigners who have unintentionally been dealing with the IRGC, which operates via a very complicated and complex web of companies and front-companies, will be caught out. At the same time, it will catch those that intentionally deal with the IRGC.
This move will also act as a further deterrent to foreign countries with regards to investing in Iran. Last year, just after Trump announced that tough economic sanctions would be re-imposed, many large European companies decided that they would pull out of Iran. They were promised by their governments that steps would be taken to ensure they are not sanctioned by the U.S., but most decided not to take the risk.
The people of Iran will welcome the pressure that is being put on the regime because they are desperate for regime change. They are very aware that the regime does not act in the interests of the people; rather it acts for its own survival. However, regime change is inevitable because the mullahs are at their lowest point and there is no way that they can keep their grasp on power.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the main opposition to the Iranian regime, and the only viable alternative, is supporting the people of Iran in their quest for change. The NCRI is led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi who has established a 10-point plan for a future Iran.
Her plan is based on everything that the Iranian regime is against – gender equality in the political, social and economic arena, the abolition of the death penalty, the separation of religion and state, freedom, democracy, the rule of law and justice, the respect of human rights and a non-nuclear Iran. The NCRI also wants to ensure that Iran once again becomes a rightful member of the international community and it emphasises that its foreign policy would be based on peaceful coexistence and international and regional peace and cooperation.