In this photo released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Mohammad Ali Jafari speaks to the media during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, July 25, 2009. (AP Photo/ISNA,Mehdi Ghasemi) EDITORS NOTE AS A RESULT OF AN OFFICIAL IRANIAN GOVERNMENT BAN ON FOREIGN MEDIA COVERING SOME EVENTS IN IRAN, THE AP WAS PREVENTED FROM INDEPENDENT ACCESS TO THIS EVENT
When Congress passed a law, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA), that required President Trump to impose some specific sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea, one of the organizations targeted was the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which is the private armed thuggery of the Iranian mullahs. The law required sanctions “pursuant to Executive Order 13224” on “the IRGC and foreign persons that are officials, agents, or affiliates of the IRGC” from the day “beginning on the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment,” which was Aug 2.
In now appears that this will happen in the coming week and the IRGC will be declared a terrorist organization. The fluffers for the Iran nuclear deal are apoplectic because such sanctions would strike directly against the most dangerous part of the Iranian regime. Typically, they do this by claiming the sanctions will have no effect. Then why, one might wonder, do they care about sanctions that will have no impact?
First, designating IRGC a "terrorist group" would only be duplicative of current US sanctions, as I described here: https://t.co/yMRUjxdMRV
— Tyler Cullis (@TylerCullis) September 26, 2017
If you need any proof that sanctions on the IRGC will hurt the Iranian power structure, that proof was provided today:
“As we’ve announced in the past, if America’s new law for sanctions is passed, this country will have to move their regional bases outside the 2,000 km range of Iran’s missiles,” Guards’ commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, according to state media.
Jafari also said that additional sanctions would end the chances for future dialogue with the United States, according to state media, and issued a stark warning to American troops.
“If the news is correct about the stupidity of the American government in considering the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group, then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world particularly in the Middle East,” Jafari said.
While this statement, like roughly 99% of everything emanating from Tehran, is hot air wearing a turban and a scraggly beard, the extent of the danger posed by the IRGC can’t be totally dismissed. The vulnerability of American soldiers advising and training indigenous forces in Syria and Iraq will be at increased risk of kidnapping, a tried and true IRGC technique. There could be an attempt to target a US facility in the same way the US Marine barracks in Beirut was targeted in 1983.
Given the Iranian direct and indirect provocations in the Persian Gulf and along the deconfliction line separating US supported Syrian rebels from pro-Assad forces, it is very likely that Iran will try retaliation of some type to see what it can get away with.