As tensions rise between the United States and Iran, the U.S is imposing historic levels of economic pressure on the Iranian regime. The United States has designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). This is highlighted to be an unprecedented step in the broader efforts by the U.S. to counter Iran’s deadly campaign of terrorism around the world.
"The designation is all about financial impact, law enforcement impact and immigration impact. What this designation allows us to do is increase the financial pressure on the IRGC and to deprive it of its resources. It enables our prosecutors to more effectively bring terrorism-related cases against the IRGC’s supporters and enablers” said U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State Brian Hook during a press briefing.
Hook highlighted that it was now a federal crime for any person to knowingly provide material support or resources to the IRCG. This would send a message to the rest of the world that doing business with Iran would be harmful to a company's financial health.
U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador at-Large Nathan Sales stated that over 608 American soldiers were killed by the Iranian regime and the IRGC during the Iraq war.
“This designation that we took is another step to reduce the risk of an American soldier being killed by general Soleimani and the racket that he runs with the IRGC and the Quds Force,” said Ambassador Sales.
“You cannot commit terrorism without resources. We cannot 100 per cent anticipate what the Iranian regime is going to do in response but the threat of this terrorism is why we have IRGC on our FTO list so that we can marginalize them and deprive them of resources” he added.
It was revealed that since 1997, the U.S has done almost 70 FTO designations and at no point over these decades has the U.S administration impeded their diplomatic efforts anywhere in the world.
“When you look at all of the trading partners of the EU, the EU does more business with Kazakhstan and Serbia than Iran. It is the 32nd largest trading partner so I do not want us to lose perspective on this. Iran is not a significant market for the EU so in light of this we have an agreement on the threats of peace and security Iran presents but we disagree on the Iran deal as we don’t see any corporate demand” said Hook.
The officials emphasized that peace, security and stability in the middle east cannot be maintained without weakening the revolutionary guards. They hope that the European Union would match the U.S designation on the individuals and entities that facilitate Iran’s missile program. To support the people in Iran it is necessary to pressure the Iranian regime from outside and drive up the cost of its internal repression and external terrorism.