Trump Designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps A Terrorist Organization

Just to be clear: Donald Trump is inviting disaster with his decision on Iran.

We’ve outlined this extensively over the past several days and for those interested in the background and details, you’re encouraged to read our post from Friday morning (which includes a good Op-Ed) as well as the following pieces:

Most of what Trump said in his speech was known ahead of time, but the rhetoric was even more inflammatory than expected.

 

For one thing, Trump recounted about 40 years of history in what was a rather blatant attempt to justify something that’s not justifiable on the merits. Basically, he had someone dig up each and every grievance the U.S. has ever had with the Iranians and then that was rolled up into a speech designed solely to make it seem, to Americans who don’t know any better, that his decision isn’t baseless.

But of all the things he said, the biggest problem (well, outside of throwing the entire nuclear deal into question) is this:

  • TRUMP ANNOUNCES SANCTIONS ON IRAN REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS

That is just asking for trouble. Here’s the official release from Treasury.

Terrorist

There now appears to be some confusion:

Basically, it looks like Trump is declaring the IRGC a terrorist organization but trying to hedge his bets (as usual). Here’s a bit of on-the-fly color:

It makes little difference. Longer-term, the nuclear deal is obviously the most important aspect of this whole debacle, but make no mistake, in the near-term, designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization is the more critical component.

It isn’t about the sanctions. They’re already sanctioned. It’s about what this means for the security of U.S. personnel in the region. In that regard, the English language is not a sufficient tool when it comes to communicating how truly dangerous of a decision this is.

Say what you will about the merits, but there is no question that he has just significantly increased the danger for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria. On top of that, he is imperiling the already tenuous effort to build a workable government in Iraq, where officials will now be forced to decide between angering Trump or angering Tehran. It is by no means clear which route they will go in that regard.

Also note that contrary to what Trump said in his speech and very much contrary to his entire “tough on ISIS” mantra, this actually undercuts the fight against Sunni extremism. Hezbollah and IRGC-backed militias in Syria and Iraq are the single most effective deterrent when it comes to fighting ISIS in the Mideast, with the possible exception of the Kurds. Trump is undermining that fight.

Here’s Rouhani’s official response in bullet points:

  • ROUHANI: TRUMP DOESN’T KNOW NUCLEAR DEAL ISN’T UNILATERAL
  • ROUHANI TO TRUMP: ONE COUNTRY CAN’T DICTATE TERMS OF IRAN DEAL
  • ROUHANI: U.S. IS NOW MORE ISOLATED THAN EVER ON IRAN DEAL
  • ROUHANI: REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS POPULAR AMONG IRANIAN PEOPLE
  • ROUHANI: WILL REMAIN IN DEAL AS LONG AS SERVES OUR INTERESTS
  • ROUHANI: IRAN WILL BE MUCH MORE DETERMINED TO DEFEND ITSELF

And here is the full article from Iran’s PressTV published earlier today:

Iran has lashed out at the United States for supporting terrorist groups in the region, vowing to retaliate against any action targeting its Armed Forces, including the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

The Iranian Armed Forces, including the IRGC, are the symbol of power and defenders of security and are supported by the Iranian government and nation, an informed source at Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The statement came a few hours before US President Donald Trump is expected to deliver a speech to criticize the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries more than two years ago.

  • “Any move against the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, will be met with Iran’s fitting and strong response,” the statement added.

It emphasized that Iran’s core policy is to support regional peace and stability and confront any destabilizing and divisive measures aimed at creating tensions and conflicts in the region. The statement added that a resolute fight against terrorist groups such as Daesh was among the Islamic Republic’s main priorities.

“This is while, the US policies, particularly the country’s support for terrorist groups and repressive regimes, are among the main factors behind instability in the region. The US cannot shirk its responsibility by leveling accusations against others and it must answer for its wrong policies,” it said.

According to the statement, the US support for Israel and other “repressive” regimes in the region over the recent decades has caused war and conflicts on one hand and created “the ominous phenomenon of terrorism” on the other.

The source warned the US that the continuation of its policy would be a “historic strategic mistake” and deal a heavy blow to the region and the entire world.

Iran to boost defense power

The statement reiterated the defensive and deterrent nature of Iran’s missile program and said the country’s missile capabilities have so far played an “effective” role in improving regional peace and stability.

  • “The Islamic Republic of Iran is serious to maintain and boost its defensive and security capabilities, and in so doing, will only pay heed to its national security considerations and the interest of the Iranian people,” the Foreign Ministry statement pointed out.

Iran’s core and constant policy is to counter weapons of mass destruction across the world and take steps towards global disarmament, it said, adding that such a policy serves as the basis for the landmark nuclear deal.

It emphasized that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as the only authorized supervisory body, has so far verified Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA in eight reports, saying Washington’s lack of commitment to its obligations and its repeated violation of the deal’s “spirit and letter” were evident.

Iran has a “very broad” range of options for any breach of the JCPOA and would “end all its commitments in this regard if deemed necessary,” the source added.

The deal, agreed between Iran and the six permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany lifts economic sanctions imposed in 2005 in exchange for curbs to Tehran’s nuclear program. It was later endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Trump has called the deal an “embarrassment” to the US, and is expected to refuse to certify Iran’s commitment to the deal during a White House speech later on Friday.

If Trump refuses to certify the agreement, the US Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to restore the anti-Iran sanctions Washington has agreed to waive.

  • The source also pointed to political differences between Iran and the US on many regional and international issues and said, “The main reason behind the US rulers’ hostility towards Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] is his anti-hegemony [stance] and explicit opposition to the US administration’s regional and global policies… that resulted in nothing but bloodshed and misery for world nations.”

The statement also advised the new US statesmen not to forget “lessons” of the past four decades.

Despite the US hostile policies against Iran, including threats and sanctions, the Iranian nation has continued its patch to achieve independence and justice, it said.

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7 thoughts on “Trump Designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps A Terrorist Organization

  1. There are hundreds of qualified intelligent exceptional leaders in our government who are standing by and watching this fucking moron who knows absolutely nothing about managing our government, our military, our healthcare system, our finance industry, our educational programs, our environmental controls, our justice systems, and whatever else I am forgetting at this moment. At some point soon, he will do or say something that will cause death and/or destruction to Americans somewhere in the world.

    At what point will someone step up and stop this insane ridiculous man?

    • Being incompetent and short sighted doesn’t qualify one as either insane or a psychopath (they are NOT the same)..if you have a case to make then make it intelligently. If you need help read my post below….

  2. There’s no greater blunder in Foreign Affairs for a great power than impulsiveness. One can only hope Congress will correct this latest bit of Presidential ego strutting, but it may not. Here are the consequences…

    1. Iran now has a free pass to be as intractable as it wishes on the nuclear question..it has effectively divided the US from traditional supporters and mollified the Iranian militant base that also thought the deal wasn’t good.

    2. The ballistic missile questions presented and opportunity for the US to
    make Iran more of a Regional Business Partner and less of an enemy. That could have worked to US advantage against Russia and re-emerging Turkish
    power. Time will show the the Iranians would have been much easier to deal with than the Turks.

    Guess where current Iranian missile capabilities received their initial technical expertise and support….No. Korea.

    3. Knowing realities and naming names are 2 very different things..now that the President was adolescent enough to label the IRGC don’t be surprised if they make a major play to hook up with No. Korea and obtain a fully loaded tactical nuclear arsenal. Kimbo will have his first real customer.

    4. The IRGC is not unlike the Reich’s SS…ideologically pure, ruthless and politically connected. They are also the strongest driving economic power in Iran. They rule the businesses that counts…arms and oil.

    This move will also embolden No. Korea…Trump had backed Kimbo into a corner and had him very worried. He just opened a huge door unnecessarily.
    If I were Tillerson or Mattis I’d head for the exit….whatever “strategy” they may have had as a working team has been put to the lie. There is no helping someone this self-important and arrogant.

  3. Wow- glad I stopped by here and read this. The market reports I read earlier on this indicated Trump had stopped short of labelling the IRG a “terrorist” organization. The reports I saw didn’t mention that Treasury added them to the OFAC list – which is pretty close to slapping on a terrorist org. label; actually that they aided/supported terrorist activities is the allegation of course.

    The other interesting, if minor, point is in that memo from the Treasury where they refer to “Hizballah” I had to look that up and learned that while the most common reference is actually “Hezbollah,” the use of Hizballah is a lesser used translation. Learn something every day! Kind of odd though, because it seems as if most spell check editing programs would have changed it to the commonly recognized spelling – so someone consciously used the obscure version.

  4. The details and justification in Trumps speech of Irans history, are almost word for word, identical to two articles in yesterdays Breitbart.com. Bannon might be out of the WH, but he’s certainly not out of the loop.

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