in ,

Designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guards As Terrorists Will Have Consequences For America

Authored by James Durso, op-ed via The Hill:


America’s designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group is an example of taking a good idea — sanctioning Iranian entities for malign behavior — one step too far.

A former State Department counterterrorism official said of the designation, “The future ramifications of this decision will be profound.” He’s right about that, but “profound” may cut both ways.

In 2007, the U.S. designated the Guard’s overseas operations arm, the Quds Force, for support of terrorist organizations, so the new sanctions will hit the parent organization which is already under sanctions for ballistic missile development and supporting the Bashar Assad regime in Syria.

An Iranian lawmaker responded to the news by saying Iran would regard the U.S. military as no different than the Islamic State, echoing the 2017 statement by the commander of the Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, that the Guards would “consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world.”

The Department of Defense (DOD) and the CIA reportedly opposed the move, and no wonder: Officials at the National Security Council and the Treasury Department are safe in Washington, D.C., State Department officers in Baghdad labor under restrictive security rules which limit their movements, which leaves the U.S. military and CIA officers exposed.

DOD has opposed this idea for a long time. When it was considered in 2007, the representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told his civilian counterparts, “The United States has always carefully avoided declaring military officers engaged in activities sanctioned by their governments as terrorists to avoid the same being done to us.” It could be applied to American special forces officers, who frequently operate clandestinely and have provided military assistance and training to insurgents.

Encounters between the American and Iranian military and security services can go one of three ways:

  • Proxy war: Iraqi militias supported by Iran killed at least 608 American servicemen.
  • Let’s-get-this-over-with: Iran quickly released the U.S. Navy crews who were captured by the IRGC Navy when they wandered into Iranian waters in early 2016.
  • The Beirut option: In the 1980s, the CIA’s Beirut station chief William Buckley and U.S. Marine colonel William Higgins were kidnapped by Iran’s Lebanese Hezbollah allies and died under interrogation. Former FBI agent – and CIA contractor – Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran in 2007, and the FBI, then led by Robert Mueller, was reduced to asking Vladimir Putin’s most loyal oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, to fund his (unsuccessful) rescue.

And the designation won’t just discomfit Americans; Iraqi officials regularly encounter Guards officers whether they want to or not. Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani regularly visits Iraq, and the last three Iranian ambassadors to Baghdad have been Quds Force officers, so Iraqi officials can expect to be put on notice by the Americans to avoid “terrorists.” Iran is active economically in Iraq, so the designation may be bad for Iraq’s economy. One near-term effect may be to scuttle an effort to import electricity from Iran, badly needed as the country still suffers from power shortages.

America’s timing is bad, as Iran’s “resistance economy” is dragging, and the government has been criticized for its lackluster response to the recent widespread, deadly flooding. These sanctions will just give the mullahs an excuse for their economic mismanagement.

Given the Guard’s penetration of Iran’s economy, new sanctions might enrich it even more. If the economy becomes radioactive to outside investors because the due diligence is too hard, the IRGC could buy the remaining assets at cut-rate prices. If, in the future, the Guard is neutered and sanctions are relaxed, unwinding the sanctioned businesses will take years and will require the approval of the U.S., which will move at the speed of government. This will hobble the post-mullah regime which will be under pressure to improve the lives of newly-free Iranians.

The current U.S. practice of targeting specific people and economic entities for sanctions allows the U.S. to fine-tune its actions and tells the Iranians the U.S. knows who is doing what. Given the Guards economic ubiquity, the terrorist designation is a blanket sanction with unknown consequences, though one might be increased power for the Guards.

The last time a military formation of a sovereign state was declared a criminal organization was when Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS was condemned for its involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity. Designating the IRGC a terrorist entity may sound great after that third beer, but is IRGC commander Major General Jafari as bad as Himmler? No.

Terrorism sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards promise something for everyone, all of it bad: More American hostages, and more money for the Guards. The Americans should ignore the bright, shiny object of terrorism sanctions and remember firm, consistent pressure is the way to win the contest with Iran.


James Durso (@james_durso) is the Managing Director of Corsair LLC, a supply chain consultancy. He was a professional staff member at the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission and the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Mr. Durso served as a U.S. Navy officer for 20 years and specialized in logistics and security assistance. His overseas military postings were in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and he served in Iraq as a civilian transport advisor with the Coalition Provisional Authority.  He served afloat as Supply Officer of the submarine USS SKATE (SSN 578).

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!

Report

What do you think?

37
Leave a Reply

avatar
8 Comment threads
29 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
14 Comment authors
Olivia KrothTravelAboutCudwieserHmmmThe Eternal MSM Skeptic Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
klcTan
Guest
klcTan

The US military is a terrorist organisation in fact if not in name with all the bombings and destruction of civilian infrastructure around the world, supporting terrorists in Libya, etc. without declaring war.

Smoking Eagle
Guest
Smoking Eagle

The odd thing is that while U$terrorist.org spends trillions on smashing up other countries’ infrastructure, its own is falling apart and needs three trillion dollars to repair it where possible and replace it where it has crumbled beyond repair. Just four years of its military budget would cover the cost.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

The US regime is despicable, an international pariah.

klcTan
Guest
klcTan

Sorry, supporting terrorists in Syria.

John Kerry
Guest
John Kerry

But, but….they can be so useful.

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

Ramifications have begun. Iran have already returned fire by declaring the US military as Terrorists. The technicality of terrorism is that any agent that commits to acts of terror is a terrorist. This includes all armies, militia or free agent who utilises acts of fear, threat and terror as a tactical measure to conduct their agenda. Every government, and supportive can be classed as a terrorist one way or another. America and UK have used terrorism countless times, both in war and in peace times (shock and awe anyone) Perhaps it was about time to draw the line and for… Read more »

Slippery Slope
Guest
Slippery Slope

I must say, your logic seems infallible.

Trend_Setters_R_US
Guest
Trend_Setters_R_US

I’m beginning to get a distinct feeling that the world’s nations…one by one, are starting to get fed up with America.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

“Starting”? The world’s nations have been fed up with the US terror regime for a long time already.

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

America. The worlds loan shark. We’ll lend you man and machine, but what will you owe us. Vietnam gave the US a good answer.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

You mean, the US terror regime is a loan shark, and maybe Canada as well, which is part of North America. Mexico, all of Central America and most of South America do not participate in loan sharking.

Hestroy
Guest
Hestroy

an example of taking a good idea — sanctioning Iranian entities for malign behavior — one step too far

WTF is this? What “malign behavior”? This article is pretty stupid, written by someone who is either totally brainwashed or a professional propagandist.

Serg
Guest
Serg

Not to mention citing fake US numbers about Iran being responsible for over 600 deaths of US soldiers in Iraq, complete fabrication yet cited here as objective fact.

I have to say The Duran main site has been going down the drain ever since Adam Garrie left, or was forced out, no idea what actually happened. But this Seraphim Hanish guy is another no-good writer here, pushing one ridiculous article after another, starting with his debut piece on this site about Hezbollah funnelling drugs into the US, a 100% fabricated Israeli propaganda lie. He did 3 articles on this IIRC.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Agree with 100 % about Adam Garrie. The Duran has gone down hill very badly since he left.

Smoking Eagle
Guest
Smoking Eagle

Who cares about 608 US soldiers, even if it were remotely true? What about the 500,000 Iraqi children the US killed because of its sanctions, the 1.5 million people it killed in Iraq, the nine times as many it wounded, the five million people it has killed in the Middle East since it attacked Iraq, the 25-30 million people it has killed worldwide since the 1950s?

The Eternal MSM Skeptic
Guest
The Eternal MSM Skeptic

I’d say the story about the 600 US soldiers in Iraq is about as reliable as the one about the 200 RF soldiers in Syria.

TravelAbout
Guest
TravelAbout

Or the WMDs in Iraq, or Russia planning to invade Poland 🙂

Olivia Kroth
Guest

I have been wondering for a while, whether “Seraphim Hanish” is the fig leaf for DURAN, so the publication will not be put down and closed by the “powers that be”. Seen in this light, we must endure (or ignore) those silly articles by “Seraphim Hanish” in order to keep “the DURAN” from drowning.

Tom
Guest
Tom

He’s a propagandist: “Freeing the Iranian people”, indeed! Iran has a parliamentary democracy – – more democratic than the USA, but, hey! it’s a dictatorship run by “mullahs”, according to US propaganda – – like Venezuela is a dictatorship run by Maduro and Russia by Putin!

Don’t let the facts get in the way of good propaganda!

Why is the Duran posting this blatent US propaganda and lies?
Has the Duran gone over to the evil side, like some other alternative media sites?

MIke
Guest
MIke

You mean Iranian propaganda! Its totally anti-US all the way.

Tom
Guest
Tom

I wonder why?

Dead Rabbits
Guest
Dead Rabbits

Dear Mike; Even we natives are pretty much getting fed up with the congenital crapfest coming out of Warshington, POTUS after POTUS.

Smoking Eagle
Guest
Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
Guest
Smoking Eagle

Just google how the U$ coup d’état ruined Iran’s democracy in 1953 and you might learn something. Iran is understandably anti-U$, as are billions of individuals in “the rest of the world”.

Hmmm
Guest
Hmmm

But Savak was such a benevolent organization. I believe it even got an honorable mention in Congress for its human rights initiatives, not to mention all that democracy-building the Shah was into.

Doctor Zeus
Guest
Doctor Zeus

The article was cited for its general theme. I suppose it could have been prefaced with a disclaimer, that the reader is left to his own devices to filter the wheat from the chaff. Personally, I assume that any article from Western sources in any way critical of US policy always has these little gems of unproven allegations thrown in, as a bone to their western bona fides. I think they sort of do it to prove to their detractors (and maybe to themselves) that they’re not on the Kremlin payroll. Ha Ha.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Yes, exactly, doctor. Your diagnosis is right, as always. Those articles from US sources are bones for the CIA, thrown to to that rabid dog by the DURAN editors, so their precious publication won’t be closed down.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

No, I do not think that the DURAN has gone over to the evil side but I believe that the DURAN is under strong pressure, although located in Cyprus. Even Cyprus is not safe from CIA machinations. If the DURAN brings a certain percentage of “propaganda” articles, this might be the price to pay for continuing to exist. Just do not read any articles from US sources here on the DURAN, skip over them and do not comment them, so their readers’ number will be ZERO. Read the articles coming from TASS and RUSSIA TODAY, they are often reprinted here.… Read more »

Definitions_R_US
Guest
Definitions_R_US

Encyclopedia Americana, ‘malign behavior’ definition:

Any one or thing that conflicts with whatever current agenda’s being cooked up in Warshington is guilty of ‘malign behavior’

Olivia Kroth
Guest

The CIA shows a lot of “malign behaviour”, like cancer cells, spreading worldwide.

Cap960
Guest
Cap960

The terrorist State of America….Terror is its trade mark. As American as acts of terror.

Tom Welsh
Guest
Tom Welsh

“Iraqi militias supported by Iran killed at least 608 American servicemen”. And what were those American servicemen doing in someone else’s country? In case anyone has forgotten or did not know, the American attacks on Iraq, the sanctions, and the invasions were utterly illegal and directly contrary to the UN Charter. Any Americans who formed part of the occupying forces were fair game for Iraqi patriots fighting against hostile, murderous invaders. Americans are very proud of their fighters (mostly irregular) who fought the British in the Revolutionary War – even though they rarely came out and fought pitched battles, preferring… Read more »

MIke
Guest
MIke

The US should have left all these dictators in place and let their population suffer as a result. Its clear that no-one in the middle-east is happy to be in a democratic country. They seem to like when a dictator makes them suffer and use chemical weapons on his population. The US should have let Saddam kill all the Kurd and torture the Shiite majority because they love it. That’s my guess from seeing all your comments here. Let the middle-east dictator and their population suffer should be the new US motto!

Tom
Guest
Tom

Idiot! You have swallowed the Kool Aid whole heartedly. Do you US idiots know, or care, what crimes you have committed against humanity?

Sponge BoB
Guest
Sponge BoB

Wow…your amazing sponge-like brain really soaked up the pickle juice these past few years.

Hmph
Guest
Hmph

Quote: “The last time a military formation of a sovereign state was declared a criminal organization was when Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS was condemned for its involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Super…that means that in a few decades, Iran’s Guards will be declared America’s critical allies, just like today’s Baltic and Ukrainian Waffen-SS progeny.

So, just hold in there, Guards…..and may I suggest renaming yourselves the old tried and true Savak to get a head start.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

The Iranian Leader of the Islamic Revolution says that the US regime’s move is “rooted in rancor”. Tue Apr 9, 2019 09:28AM [Updated: Tue Apr 9, 2019 10:39PM ] Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei addresses a group of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) personnel and their families, in Tehran, on April 9, 2019. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the recent decision by the United States regime to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) a “foreign terrorist organization” is rooted in America’s “rancor” against the force, which has been in the… Read more »

‘I am a soldier of America’: Kosovo PM says he follows US lead against Serbia & Russia

To be or not to be the Baltics’ and Poland’s defender