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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Mideast Expert Talks About Possible U.S. Blacklisting Of Revolutionary Guards

Posted by Atilla89 on August 17, 2007

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.

Anyway, I was sent an email about the consequences of blacklisting the IRG. It’s from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, I have now idea who they are but you can check out their website here. Anyway here a segment of the article and the rest of it is here.

RFE/RL: Let’s talk about the IRGC’s role on the Iranian political scene and also its reported involvement in a number of countries, including Iraq. What role is it playing in Iran?

“Although it has been a dominant force in the past…[now] it’s almost in charge of the entire country.”

Nafisi: The IRGC is in charge of protecting the revolution — in other words, it is in charge of protecting the Iranian regime. So it has tentacles across [state] organizations from the Information Ministry all the way to the judiciary. Of course, [there is also] the famous Quds Force, which is infamous for its role and activities outside the country. The Quds Force — which is supposed to be only a thousand-member organization — is reportedly a force that is involved in supporting the Hizballah in Lebanon, supporting even Hamas, supporting militias in Iraq.

RFE/RL: What kind of support are we talking about here? Financial aid or training?

Nafisi: It is reportedly in charge of training and financing both. So if you think of the role that the Quds Force plays in the Middle East, then you can understand the significance of the Revolutionary Guards in the region. The IRGC is emerging in the region as a very important factor in terms of enforcing the ideology and the will of the Islamic republic’s leaders across the region.

RFE/RL: You said that the Quds Force is supporting groups like Hamas, which have terrorist links or are involved in terrorist activities. Is the Quds Force, which is said to be secret brigade of the IRGC, also directly involved in terrorism?

Nafisi: Iranians are too smart to get involved directly in any kind of terrorism. From the early days, they have been able to employ other forces. We have seen that in the assassination against the U.S. military force in Lebanon, [and] against targets around the world — they never use their own members. They routinely use other forces and, to my understanding, they have slowed down since the invasion of Iraq. And the reason [for the slowdown] is quite understandable, because they don’t want to endanger the Iranian regime. But, according to the American forces, they are very active in Iraq.

RFE/RL: What, in your view, would be the impact on the group if the United States designates the IRGC as a terrorist organization?

Nafisi: Many analysts have dismissed [the blacklisting] as symbolic. But I think it is very important, because from now on, if the policy is carried out, the movement of IRGC members abroad would become very, very hard — especially in neighboring countries. They could easily be detained as terrorists. So I think that’s a major blow to the status and movement of the IRGC. Secondly, because it is a large conglomerate with a tremendous amount of assets and is involved in business, it would not be able to do business with Afghanistan, with Iraq, with neighboring countries; and that’s going to be another major issue. Thirdly, if you look at the fact that a large organization like that is put on the [U.S.] list of terrorist organizations and if the Interpol accept that, then it’s going to be a major issue for the IRGC, as a legitimate Iranian institution. I think that’s basically a very major blow to the status, prestige, and economic activities and the movement of the organization.

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