US President Donald Trump has approved a new strategy for Iran. The strategy promises that the US “will deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon”.
The plan focuses on neutralizing the Iran’s Government influence and constraining its “aggression” in the region, among other things by cutting funding to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
“The IRGC’s stated purpose is to subvert the international order,” says the plan. “The IRGC’s power and influence have grown over time, even as it has remained unaccountable to the Iranian people, answering only to [its leader] Khamenei. It is hard to find a conflict or a suffering people in the Middle East that the IRGC’s tentacles do not touch.”
“We will rally the international community to condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights and its unjust detention of American citizens and other foreigners on specious charges,” states the strategy.
Trump also announced “tough” sanctions against the IRGC accusing them in supporting of terrorism.
“It has hijacked large portions of Iran’s economy and seized massive religious endowments to fund war and terror abroad … I am authorizing the Treasury Department to further sanction the entire Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for its support for terrorism and to apply sanctions to its officials, agents and affiliates,” Trump said.
The US Treasury Department officially designated the IRGC as a terrorist group:
The IRGC was designated today for the activities it undertakes to assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF. The IRGC, which is the parent organization of the IRGC-QF, was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on October 25, 2007, in connection with its support to Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs, and pursuant to E.O. 13553 on June 9, 2011 and E.O. 13606 on April 23, 2012, in connection with Iran’s human rights abuses.
The IRGC has provided material support to the IRGC-QF, including by providing training, personnel, and military equipment. The IRGC has trained IRGC-QF personnel in Iran prior to their deployments to Syria, and has deployed at least hundreds of personnel from its conventional ground forces to Syria to support IRGC-QF operations. IRGC personnel in Syria have provided military assistance to the IRGC-QF, and have been assigned to IRGC-QF units on the battlefield, where they provide critical combat support, including serving as snipers and machine gunners.
Additionally, the IRGC has recruited, trained, and facilitated the travel of Afghan and Pakistani nationals to Syria, where those personnel are assigned to, and fight alongside, the IRGC-QF. The IRGC also has worked with the IRGC-QF to transfer military equipment to Syria. The IRGC used both IRGC bases and civilian airports in Iran to transfer military equipment to Iraq and Syria for the IRGC-QF.
Trump wanted to strike a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in defiance of international support for it for a long time. On October 13, he plans to decertify it.
But the Trump administration made it clear that it wants to leave the 2015 accord intact, at least for now. Trump’s decision to decertify the nuclear deal will not withdraw the United States from the agreement, but he will attempt to persuade the US Congress to approve some separate measures to toughen US policy toward Iran.
Trump also plans to give the US Treasury Department broad authority to impose economic sanctions against the IRGC, in response to what Washington calls its efforts to destabilize and undermine its opponents in the Middle East.
Full article: Trump Announces New “Strategy” on Iran. U.S. Designates IRGC as Terrorist Group (SouthFront)