By Mohammad Sadat Khansari
U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the Iran Regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Force (IRGC) is being classed as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). The IRGC was previously classed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). The FTO classification is a major step forward and it allows the United States to criminally prosecute any individual, entity or enterprise that is supporting the IRGC.
This move is unprecedented – the United States has never before formally designated another country’s government as a terrorist organization.
When President Trump said that he would be subjecting the Iranian regime to a maximum pressure campaign, it appears that he really meant it. And quite rightly because Iranian regime is the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world and it is a major obstacle to peace and security in the Middle East.
The Iranian regime, for years, has been forking out billions of dollars per year on terrorist groups and activities and the United States is taking steps to prevent this from continuing.
The IRGC’s control over the leadership of the country is massive. It is heavily involved in the country’s economic and political affairs and it has grown over the past four decades.
As the Iran-Iraq war was approaching an end during the eighties, the IRGC founded institutions that turned it into the country’s biggest contractor for all government projects.
Then, a few years later, the Iranian regime’s Constitution’s article 44 was implemented on the orders of the Supreme Leader. This meant that government corporations became privatized. The Supreme Leader thus gained control over some huge companies that make huge profits.
The more power the IRGC is given, the more it wants. Former officials have even said as much, stating that the IRGC wants complete control over all affairs. It is already considered by the regime to be the organization with the most power and control.
The FTO designation is going to curtail the illicit activities that the IRGC is involved with, even the so-called charitable organizations that allegedly carry out humanitarian work but in reality do nothing but make huge sums of money.
It is time that other foreign governments, particularly those in the European Union take the same action against a regime that threatens the whole world. For a country’s military to be in charge of the horrific internal suppression and to be in charge of extensive terrorist activities is something that foreign governments should be working towards stopping.
Silence towards the regime is seen as a green light. Many governments have tried the appeasement approach with the Iranian regime, but it has always failed. The regime takes advantage of appeasement and uses it to enhance its reign of terror.
The people of Iran, over the past couple of years, have become more open with their disdain of the Iranian regime. They know that the regime is their enemy and have said as much during anti-regime demonstrations. They want freedom, democracy and human rights and are aware that international pressure on the regime, although it will impact them, is necessary.