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US may brand elite Iran guards terrorists

Posted by Atilla89 on August 16, 2007

Interesting article about whether the Iranian Revolutionary Guards should be branded as terrorists from MSNBC

The Bush administration is considering designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation in an effort to ratchet up pressure on the government in Tehran.

Washington has grown increasingly frustrated with Iran’s alleged support for insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. The move to place the elite military force on the “specially designated global terrorist” list also reflects the administration’s view that United Nations sanctions are failing to prevent Iran from proceeding with its nuclear programme.

“[There is] increased frustration over the slow pace and perceived lack of effectiveness of UN sanctions,” said Cliff Kupchan, an Iran expert at Eurasia Group. “The administration is telling the world, ‘if you don’t act, we will.’ “

The administration has already imposed sanctions on senior members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, an elite 250,000- strong force that reports directly to the supreme leader of Iran. But this would be the first time the US has placed a national military force on the ­”specially designated global terrorist” list.

Mr Kupchan said the administration had also been “outflanked on the right” by Congressional proposals to tighten sanctions on Iran that would include designating the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group.

The proposal comes on the heels of a high-level meeting between US and Iranian officials in Baghdad to discuss US allegations that members of the Revolutionary Guard are facilitating attacks on US forces in Iraq by supplying advanced roadside bomb technology to insurgents.

Ray Takeyh, an Iran expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the move “reflected the incoherence of Iran policy” in the administration, and questioned how the US could expect to hold constructive negotiations with Tehran while designating part of the regime as a terrorist organisation.

“The US and Iran are at the table in Baghdad – and it seems the Americans mistakenly think they can improve their bargaining position like this,” said Amir Mohebian, political editor of Resalat, a conservative newspaper.

Mr Takeyh said the US would have difficulty imposing sanctions because the administration does not have the necessary data to determine which Iranian companies are associated with the Revolutionary Guard, which has taken a growing role in the economy in recent years through company ownership.

US treasury rules already bar US banks from dealing with Iranian banks and companies. But under certain conditions, US banks have been able to make use of the so-called U-turn exemption which has allowed them to process international dollar payments between Iranian banks and non-US financial institutions.

George Kleinfeld, a lawyer at Clifford Chance in Washington, said the designation would limit the usefulness of that exemption. “Now, any US bank will have to be wary of whether any U-turn payment involving Iran is ultimately for the benefit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, in which case they will be obligated to freeze such payment,” he said.

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One Response to “US may brand elite Iran guards terrorists”

  1. […] Mideast Expert Talks About Possible U.S. Blacklisting Of Revolutionary Guards Filed under: America, Islamism, U.S. Politics, Iran, Middle-East, Terrorism, Iraq War, War on Terror — Atilla89 @ 8:30 pm If you have been following my blog or U.S. foreign policy you would have realised that the U.S. wants to blacklist the IRG (Iranian Revolutionary Guards). If you haven’t you can check the background here. […]

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