June 26, 2017

Blacklisting Iran’s Revolutionary Guard: War On Terror Has Finally Begun

Shahab Sariri  

It was a real shocker to the clerical regime in Iran when the Bush administration blacklisted the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

and accused its elite Quds Force of supporting terrorism. The silence of the high ranking clerics in Tehran for several days was the proof of
that. It was not until the passing of five days that Ali Khamenei appeared in public to alleviate the anxiety of the clerical establishment’s
shrinking ideological base.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, in a statement said the Iranian people welcome the US
government’s official acknowledgment of the terrorist conduct of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Qods Force,
banks, Ministry of Defense and other entities as well as its leaders. She also described the move as indispensable to thwart the export of
terrorism and fundamentalism to the Middle East region, in particular the regime’s meddling in Iraq and to prevent the regime from obtaining
nuclear weapons. Mrs. Rajavi added: “This is a clear testament and a necessary prelude for democratic change in Iran and the overthrow of the
ruling religious fascism by Iranian people.”

Not surprisingly, a host of senior anti-fundamentalist and nationalist Iraqi political figures, including former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and
Iraqi National Accord front leader Dr. Adnan Al-Duleimi, welcomed the decision to blacklist the IRGC and its affiliated entities. As the
backbone and the guardian of the regime, the IRGC has also played a major role in suppressing dissent among an increasingly dissatisfied
population at home.

The IRGC, which is directly under the command of the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, is responsible for carrying out the torture and
executions of 120,000 members and sympathizers of the main Iranian opposition force, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI),
30,000 of whom were executed in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. The IRGC is also in charge of much of the regime’s development of
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and its covert nuclear weapons program.

In order to improve the extra-territorial operations, IRGC established a new entity back in the 80’s named the Quds Force which uses the most
elite elements of IRGC for special operations abroad. This notorious force has been involved in planning and executing more than 400 terrorist
operations, against foreign nationals and Iranian dissidents in virtually every continent of the world over the past 27 years.

The IRGC controls a large portion of Iran’s economy to meet the expenses of such huge operations. With over 500 companies in Iran and over
480 front companies in the UAE, the IRGC has become a financial conglomerate. Over the years, the IRGC has created a web of financial
sources which do not fall under the supervision and accountability of the government, in order to cloak the IRGC’s financial transactions and
other activities at home and abroad. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a former IRGC commander himself, has appointed several hundred Revolutionary
Guards commanders to senior Government positions to enhance the IRGC’s control over its financial resources.

In the past four years, the Iranian Resistance has repeatedly unveiled the widespread meddling of the Quds Force and the IRGC in Iraq, the
expansion of their terrorist networks and their role in the transfer of weapons and the fueling of sectarian killings by militia forces trained and
armed by the Iranian regime in Iraq.

For sanctions to have a meaningful effect, they must be multilateral therefore it is in the interest of world peace and stability and an asset to the
fight against terrorism for the European Union and in particular the United Kingdom to follow suit and give up the outdated and failed policy
of appeasement. As Mrs. Rajavi once again reiterated: “The yardstick for firmness vis-a-vis the clerical regime, is to abandon the policy of
appeasement and to respect the Iranian people’s determination for regime change.”

This must be coupled with the removal of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran from the US and EU’s terror list, a designation carried out at the
behest of the mullahs’ regime in the first place. The Iranian Resistance has repeatedly emphasized that the policy of appeasement or military
intervention in Iran provide no solution to the Iranian problem and that the only viable option is democratic change by Iranian people and their
Resistance.

Shahab Sariri is the Vice-President of the National Coalition of Pro-Democracy Advocates (ncpdaus.org). NCPDA organizes panel discussions,
symposiums, briefings, and conferences in Congress in support of democratic change in Iran.