London, 18 Apr - A former US ambassador to the UN has called on the US Congress to list the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps(IRGC) as a terrorist organisation and sanction them accordingly.
John Bolton wrote an op-ed for the New York Post, in which he stated that there could be no debate: the IRGC is a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO).
Reagan listed Iran on the state sponsor of terrorism in 1984 ad George Bush named the Quds Force (a branch of the IRGC) as terrorists in 2007; by that logic, the IRGC should already be on the FTO list.
He wrote: “Without doubt, the IRGC qualifies [as an FTO]. Assad would’ve fallen years ago without Tehran’s active military and financial assistance. While Russia’s air force has been prominent recently, the Guard, advising or commanding Syrian regular military units and Hezbollah forces from Lebanon, sustained Assad when many thought he was doomed.”
Hezbollah, a terrorist cell funded and trained by the IRGC, was responsible for the 1983 attack on a US Marine barracks in Beirut which cost 241 lives.
Bolton wrote: “Before President Barack Obama withdrew US forces from Iraq in 2011, IRGC advisers were training these same Shia militias to kill American troops with explosively formed projectiles and improvised explosive devices. Although US commanders repeatedly sought Washington’s authorization to retaliate, the group remained safe inside Iran.”
However, the IRGC’s most important mission at the moment is to protect Iran’s nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs, which they do by violating international sanctions and exploiting any legal loophole that they can.
Bolton wrote: “The nuclear threat from rogue states like Iran is a terrorist rather than a military threat, aimed to intimidate, or ultimately kill and maim, innocent civilian populations around the world. Iran poses no significant military threat to the United States or its friends and allies. Whatever damage Tehran’s nuclear arsenal might cause, especially to US forces deployed in the Middle East, it would not impair America’s ability to launch devastating retaliatory strikes.”
Considering that Iran supports many terrorist cells throughout the world; their nuclear strike may not come from them but a Hezbollah group in South America or an attack by Hamas on Israel.
Bolton argues that those in Congress who are blocking the bill which would list the IRGC as an FTO need to realise that this would not violate the nuclear deal; although, Iran may choose to break the deal in response.
He wrote: “Iran is threatening to ramp up its nuclear-weapons program unless the IRGC is allowed free rein for its terrorist activities. Are we to wilt before such threats?”
He continued: “Similarly, are we prepared to accept that US forces in Iraq are in harm’s way merely at the sufferance of one group of terrorists as they attempt to eliminate a terrorist competitor — ISIS? This question, in fact, shows the danger of cooperating with Iran at all in the struggle against ISIS.”