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August 14, 2007

US Designates Iran's Revoutionary Guards Force "Terrorist Organization"

Supposedly this will help with cracking down on their financial transfers.

I guess.

The United States has decided to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country's 125,000-strong military branch, as a "specially designated global terrorist," according to U.S. officials, a move that allows Washington to target the group's business operations and finances.

...

The designation of the Revolutionary Guards will be made under Executive Order 13224, which President Bush signed two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to obstruct terrorist funding. It identifies individuals, businesses, charities and many extremist groups engaged in terrorist activities. The Revolutionary Guards would be the first national military branch included on the list, U.S. officials said -- a highly unusual move because it is part of a government, rather than a typical non-state terrorist organization.

The order allows the United States to block the assets of terrorists and to disrupt operations by foreign businesses that "provide support, services or assistance to, or otherwise associate with, terrorists."

...

The main goal of the new designation is to clamp down on the Revolutionary Guards' vast business network, as well as on foreign companies conducting business linked to the military unit and its personnel. The administration plans to list many of the Revolutionary Guards' financial operations.

"Anyone doing business with these people will have to reevaluate their actions immediately," said a U.S. official familiar with the plan who requested anonymity because the decision has not been announced. "It increases the risks of people who have until now ignored the growing list of sanctions against the Iranians. It makes clear to everyone who the IRGC and their related businesses really are. It removes the excuses for doing business with these people."

For weeks, the Bush administration has been debating whether to target the Revolutionary Guards Corps in full, or only its Quds Force wing, which U.S. officials have linked to the growing flow of explosives, roadside bombs, rockets and other arms to Shiite militias in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Quds Force also lends support to Shiite allies such as Lebanon's Hezbollah and to Sunni movements such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Although administration discussions remain ongoing, the initial decision is to target the entire Guards Corps, U.S. officials said.

Can we then charge the five captured Quds Forces guys as terrorists?


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posted by Ace at 10:15 PM

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