Obama Quietly Empowers Iran’s Military

  • This sanctions relief not only gives legitimacy to the Revolutionary Guards globally, but emboldens and empowers Iran’s elite military unit by allowing them legally to conduct business and transfer money.
  • Many Iranian companies are owned by senior figures from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and judiciary who have been involved in crimes against humanity, violating international laws, breaching UN resolutions, money laundering and monstrous human rights violations. Nevertheless, the new sanctions relief allows foreign companies to do business with them without repercussions.
  • Furthermore, the Obama administration secretly agreed to remove sanctions on several Iranian banks, including banks have long been sanctioned by the UN due to their illegal activities in missile financing and skirting UN security resolutions regarding the arms embargo.

Iranian leaders have become cognizant of the fact that their hardball political tactics pay off very well with President Obama. They continue to obtain concessions from President Obama even in his last few months in office. They see that intransigence works with the White House, and that threatening the U.S. will lead to Obama offering more concessions to Iran. For Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), giving concessions means weakness.

After a series of anti-American statements and lashing out at the U.S. by Ayatollah Khamenei, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, the Obama administration eased more critical sanctions on Iran through new regulatory measures by the Treasury department.

The new measures, in loosening further sanctions against Iran, are critical, as they directly lift sanctions against powerful entities in Iran’s elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The timing of the new sanctions reliefs is also intriguing: it was implemented quietly, right before the presidential debate and before the three-day holiday in Congress, probably in an attempt not to attract media attention or Congressional criticism.

More fundamentally, this sanctions relief allows foreign companies to do business with Iranian firms even if those Iranian firms are owned by individuals who are listed on the US sanction list.

Many Iranian companies are owned by senior figures in the IRGC and Iran’s judiciary who have been involved in crimes against humanity, violating international laws, breaching UN resolutions, money laundering and monstrous human rights violations. Many senior members of the IRGC have long been blacklisted. Nevertheless, the new sanctions relief allows foreign companies to do business with them without repercussions.

The IRGC has significant control over Iran’s economic and political systems. The IRGC and its foreign branch, the Quds Force (which operates in foreign countries) have been involved in military adventurism across the region supporting, financing and arming terrorist-designated groups, Shiite proxies and Syria’s Assad’s regime, and have been determined to scuttle US foreign policy and national security for decades.

This sanctions relief not only gives legitimacy to the IRGC globally, but also emboldens and empowers Iran’s elite military unit by allowing them legally to conduct business and transfer money.

Furthermore, the Obama administration secretly agreed to remove sanctions on several Iranian banks, including Bank Sepah and Sepah International. These banks have long been sanctioned by the United Nations due to their illegal activities in missile financing and skirting UN security resolutions regarding the arms embargo.

This means that by lifting sanctions against Iranian banks and permitting IRGC leaders to conduct business, there exists no mechanism to check and stop Iran’s illegal activities when it comes to platforms such as advancement of its ballistic missile program.

Last month, the Treasury Department also granted licenses to aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing. This allows the IRGC to buy advanced aircraft.

Full article: Obama Quietly Empowers Iran’s Military (Gatestone Institute)

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