US plans to list Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps a “specially designated global terrorist” – Washington Post

This move is planned to coincide with the UN Security Council’s September meeting called to impose a third set of hitherto ineffectual sanctions on Iran for defying UN resolutions barring uranium enrichment. It would be the first time a US government has targeted the business operations and finances of a national military branch which is a part of the government of a UN member.
debkafile‘s Iran sources note that the Bush administration would in effect be declaring economic war on Iran. The Revolutionary Guards Corps’ ground, air and naval corps, numbering 125,000 men, are in charge of Iran’s nuclear program and missile units and form the military backbone of the Islamic Republic. Iran will not pass up any chance of a harsh response, possibly by raising the military heat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip or against American forces and US allies, especially Israel.
debkafile‘s sources strongly doubt that President George W. Bush’s remaining 18 months in office will suffice for those measures to attain the goal of compelling Tehran to give up its nuclear activities. The decision of whether to carry on will be left to his successor in the White House.
The Bush administration’s new order would be limited to enabling the blockage of RG assets in US financial institutions and banks and penalizing their foreign clients who do business with Tehran. It would not be binding on Iran’s leading trading partners, such as China, Russia, some of the Gulf emirates, Venezuela and Cuba, governments which sell the Islamic Republic arms and weapons technology in defiance of UN sanctions.
Unlike the non-state terrorist groups, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Hizballah and Hamas, whose funds Washington obstructs, the Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran) command an economic empire which controls most branches of the Iranian economy including the oil industry. Since 2005, the Bush administration has imposed measures targeting Iran’s banks, its operations on the world’s financial markets and the companies associated with its nuclear program. This campaign has been successful, but fallen short of dislocating that program. The campaign’s extension by the new order will bring into play America’s foreign ties and strategic interests in the world, including such countries as China and Russia.

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