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  • Masoud Dalvand 7:31 pm on October 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    What Iran Needs Are Not Concessions But Sanctions 

    With concerns escalating, North Korea should not lead us to tone down our voice and provide further concessions to Pyongyang and Tehran. We should in fact do the opposite.

    More than two years after the flaws of a deal between the P5+1 and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program have become obvious, a chorus is busy insisting there is no other option. While the rendered pact, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has failed to rein in the Tehran regime, correct measures are available at hand.

    Some argue the JCPOA has successfully slowed Iran’s dangerous drive to obtain nuclear weapons. The Center for a New American Security held a forum titled, “Consequences of a Collapse of the Iran Nuclear Deal,” featuring “a plethora of prominent speakers advocating in favor of preserving the deal, including former senior Obama administration official, Colin Kahl, a chief proponent of the agreement,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.

    We Do Indeed Have Other Viable Options

    The highly controversial Parchin military complex, located southeast of Tehran, was “inspected” by Iran’s own “scientists” to provide samples to the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. That is tantamount to asking a murderer to deliver his DNA, in privacy without any supervision, as evidence to compare with that found at a crime scene where closed-circuit cameras recorded his presence at the time of the crime.

    JCPOA advocates say the deal isn’t perfect, yet also claim measures against Iran are ill-founded and can be counterproductive. This is not the case.

    “The administration could discourage global firms from doing business with Iran by leaving open its final position on the deal, and thus placing at risk their business with America,” as proposed in a recent Foreign Policy piece by James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Turkey.

    Yes, such measures would disappoint Tehran. Yet knowledge of this regime’s nature suggests such actions will not push Iran to the brink of abandoning the JCPOA ship, as they are benefiting from the present terms.

    And yes, the Iran nuclear deal is a multilateral agreement, as European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini reminded. Yet also as a reminder, in case of Iran violating the JCPOA terms, the United States can unilaterally launch the “snapback” process and have UN sanctions re-imposed on Iran. In such a scenario there is no need to garner support from Russia or China, both known for backing Tehran, as Security Council veto authority is irrelevant in this regard.

    Appeasement Is a Failed Approach

    With concerns over this issue escalating, the case of North Korea should not lead us to tone down our voice and provide further concessions to Pyongyang and Tehran. We should in fact do the opposite. This dossier should help us realize that appeasement—the same mentality embraced by the Obama administration in blueprinting the highly flawed JCPOA—has placed us where we are today with North Korea.

    Do we seek to trek down the same path with Iran, a state with dangerous influence across the already flashpoint Middle East? One such horrible example is Iran’s involvement in Syria. JCPOA advocates are also describing a “best-case scenario” of providing more concessions to North Korea to muster a “far-from-perfect” pact, similar to the Iran deal, in exchange for Pyongyang to freeze its nuclear development.

    Déjà vu. Haven’t we already experienced this with the Clinton administration’s “Agreed Framework” of 1994? Kim Jong Un recently tested his state’s sixth and most powerful nuclear device, claiming to be a hydrogen bomb. As another harsh reminder, rapprochement with North Korea led to the notorious 2010 sinking of the South Korean destroyer, the Cheonan. It is quite obvious by now that a Pyongyang submarine torpedoed the warship and left 46 sailors dead.

    Does another South Korea naval ship, or a city for that matter, have to be targeted for us to realize that rogue states such as Iran and North Korea will only consider engagement as a sign of the international community’s weakness and take full advantage of it? Or must a U.S. Navy ship in the Persian Gulf come into the crosshairs of Revolutionary Guards’ fast boats for the West to finally open its eyes?

    Some think Iran lacks the necessary will and understands all too well how such a move would spark drastic international measures against its interests. JCPOA advocates (read Iranian apologists) have also delegitimized any concern about Tehran’s intentions by claiming pact violations, such as breaching limits set on heavy water—the substance needed for plutonium-based nuclear bombs—as mere “bumps in the road.”

    This shows those making such arguments either lack the necessary knowledge of Iran’s belligerent nature in the past four decades, or simply fall into the category of Iran lobbyists. Fierce international sanctions left Iran no choice but to succumb to nuclear talks with knees bleeding. More non-nuclear sanctions are needed to make Tehran understand the international community means business.

    “Peace for our time” was the claim made by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in his September 30, 1938 speech concerning the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler. Seventy million people paid the price of that strategic mistake with their lives. Let us finally learn our lesson of appeasement and put aside such an approach for good.

    via What Iran Needs Are Not Concessions But Sanctions — Iran Commentary

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  • Masoud Dalvand 7:51 am on August 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , Sanctions,   

    Retail Giant Amazon Faces Investigation for Possible Sanction Violations 

    The Media Express

    According to a recent quarterly report from Amazon, it is under federal investigation after the web-based retailer admitted to selling products to at least one Iranian on the U.S. government’s blacklist of people allegedly associated with terrorism. This is a violation of the sanctions in place against Iran.

    According to the report to its investors, Amazon indicated that it sold approximately $300 worth of goods to this individual that was blacklisted under Executive Order 13224, which was signed by President George W. Bush in 2001. The aim of this order was to disrupt these blacklisted organizations financially, by limiting their financial support structure.

    The products that were sold during the quarter included books, other media, apparel, home and kitchen, jewelry, office, toys, health and beauty, consumer electronics, lawn and patio, automotive and musical instruments. The individual in question was not identified by Amazon.

    In addition to the $300, the…

    View original post 269 more words

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:31 am on July 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Sanctions, Shahin Gobadi,   

    NCRI – FAC member comments on new sanctions against Iran regime by US Congress 

    Shahin Gobadi, a member of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee commented on adoption of a bill by the US Senate and House of Representatives on the Iranian regime for violating human rights and pursuing ballistic missiles. He called the bill that included extending sanctions on the IRGC for its role in terrorism, as a positive and important step. Gobadi also commented on the following steps for full implementation of this bill and the need to complete these sanctions with urgent actions against officials in charge of executions, torture and particularly the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:51 am on July 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Sanctions,   

    New US Sanctions Blacklist Iran’s IRGC 

    WASHINGTON, DC — APRIL 05: Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY) speaks during a news conference discussing new legislation on U.S. policy toward Russia April 5, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. U.S. Also pictured is Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA). (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

    By Heshmat Alavi

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday placing new sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. This follows a similar version adopted overwhelmingly by the Senate in a 98–2 vote last month.

    The House resolution, however, faced a more peculiar road even riddled with obstacles. Fortunately, the overwhelming 419 to three vote in favor of this bill, the bipartisan Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act (H.R.3364) has made it veto proof. Despite the fact of alterations made in the initial text, all glitches have been set aside to gain White House consent.

    “The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), not just the IRGC Quds Force, is responsible for implementing Iran’s international program of destabilizing activities, support for acts of international terrorism and ballistic missiles,” the House Resolution text reads in part.

    This development is a devastating blow to Tehran and a major success for the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

    https://twitter.com/Maryam_Rajavi/status/890533063599509504

    Calls for regime change in Iran and support for the NCRI have been gaining unprecedented weight in Washington, leaving Iran’s mullahs utterly terrified.

    Iran has been found “threatening U.S. national security and undermining global stability with a range of aggressive acts” through ballistic missile tests, supporting terrorist organizations and meddling in the internal affairs of other states. The House bill is calling for political and economic measures to place Iran before accountability.

    This resolution can fundamentally be considered the blacklisting of Iran’s IRGC as the criteria imposes mirroring restrictions, and at times goes even further.

    The IRGC will be placed on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists following these procedures becoming law and US President Donald Trump taking the engagements necessary. The following is a list of the actions stated in this House resolution:

    • All assets and property in the US belonging to IRGC-linked individuals and entities will be frozen.
    • No American individual or entity has the right to establish financial, business, services or other affiliations with any individuals directly or indirectly associated to the IRGC.
    • No American individual or entity has the right to violate these sanctions through intermediaries or bypassing these procedures.
    • All individuals and entities having any relations with the IRGC must be sanctioned. Considering the fact that the IRGC officially enjoy a variety of connections and associations, this will effectively be paralyzing for Iran. One such example is the IRGC Khatam al-Anbiya group that is currently cooperating with more than 2,500 economic firms. All these companies will be sanctioned, rendering any relations with them illegal.
    • As these measures place the IRGC under secondary banking sanctions, practically no financial institution will be permitted to provide direct and/or indirect banking services to IRGC-linked individuals and entities. No foreign bank will cooperate with any Iranian entity that is in any way related to the IRGC and/or its affiliated entities.

    These sweeping arrangements follow the NCRI’s annual convention held on July 1st in Paris this year with senior American figures such as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich calling for even more drastic moves against Iran.

    “It is long past time to declare the IRGC a terrorist organization. They on their hands the blood of so many of your people, and they have on their hands the blood of my people, too, whom they helped to kill in Iraq. We should declare them a terrorist organization so we can cut them off support around the world,” Giuliani said in his speech at the NCRI event.

    Through Iran’s perspective, these new methods are the “mother of all sanctions,” as described by Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of Keyhan daily, considered the mouthpiece of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. This sheds light on the significant political impact of these sanctions for Tehran.

    These new sanctions come at a time when the Trump administration is blueprinting its comprehensive Iran policy, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis both mentioning regime change in recent remarks.

    These actions are the building blocks for the next vital steps necessary for Washington and the international community:

    • Officially designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization,
    • Standing alongside the Iranian people and their organized opposition, represented by the NCRI, to realize regime change in Tehran.

    Originally published at http://www.forbes.com on July 26, 2017.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:32 am on July 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Sanctions,   

    First New Iran Regime Sanctions Since Nuclear Deal Passed 

    The bill also sanctions anyone associated with(IRGC) or anyone whom the US determines is complicit in Iranian human rights violations

    IRAN, 25 July 2017The bill also sanctions anyone associated with Iran regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)

    To impose additional sanctions on Iran’s defense sector, The House voted 419-3 (25 July 2017) moving the bill forward to be approved by President Trump.

    While there are some slight modifications to the bill’s sanctions on Russia, the language on Iran is undistinguishable to the version the Senate passed 98-2 in June. Like its Senate counterpart, the House bill would block the assets of any individual who works with Iran on its ballistic missile program or sells it arms.

    The bill also sanctions anyone associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or anyone whom the US determines is complicit in Iranian human rights violations. Anyone sanctioned under the act may be removed after a five-year review.

    Although the Senate had already voted in favor of the sanctions package on June 15 by 98-2, the House has tacked an additional set of provisions sanctioning North Korea onto the bill, forcing the upper chamber to vote once more. The House has already passed the North Korea sanctions separately by a vote of 419-1, but the Senate has not yet taken it up.

    Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., negotiated with the House over the weekend alongside the committee’s ranking member, Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md., to reach consensus.

    Corker stated: while the Senate is close to approving the House package, the addition of the North Korea sanctions could cause further delays before the long-awaited sanctions finally make their way to the White House.

    “We’re about there,” Corker told reporters. “It depends on a couple of things we’re looking at on the North Korea piece, so it’s not fully worked out. … We’re talking through some procedural issues right now, but we had a very good weekend and are very, very close to having it fully resolved.”

    Nonetheless, Senate Democrats are eager to vote on the sanctions and deliver it to the president before the August recess.

    “It is critical that the Senate act promptly on that legislation,” said Schumer. “I will work with the majority leader to ensure its swift passage so that we can get it to the president’s desk before we leave for the recess.”

    The White House is supportive of taking a harder line against Iran but had initially opposed the bill as it would require Congress to approve any removal of sanctions on Russia. However, the White House changed its tune over the weekend with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place.”

    And while president Trump has twice certified that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA, most recently last week, he only did so after a lengthy internal debate inside the administration.

    Foreign Policy reported last week that Trump has asked his aides to make a credible case for declining to recertify that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA. The administration must certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA every 90 days

    Source: First New Iran Regime Sanctions Since Nuclear Deal Passed

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:29 am on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Sanctions   

    Today’s sanctions has to be complimented by blacklisting IRGC 

    Shahin Gobadi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran comments on the designation of 18 entities and individuals affiliated with the Iranian regime for their role in exporting terrorism and in the drive to proliferate ballistic missiles and underscores that todays’ measure has to be complimented by designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 5:47 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran’s Impasse and the “Sanctions Black Hole” 

    By Shahriar Kia

    My article originally posted on Practical Politicking

    The current plan for sanctions against Iran leaves the regime between a proverbial rock and hard place since its choices are complied or die.

    The adoption of “Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017” by the United States Senate has rendered a variety of reactions from Iran resembling the terrified status of the regime’s senior ranks. Iranian media have widely referred to this new bill and the resulting authorizations as the “mother of all sanctions” and the “sanctions black hole.”

    “Section 5 of this bill is related to new sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). This new bill is dubbed the ‘sanctions black hole’ considering the fact that based on Executive Order 13224, any individual providing services to an identified organization in this Executive Order, that individual or his/her entity will be placed on the US sanctions list or the SDN… with the adoption and implementation of this bill, we can forecast that a few thousand individuals will be placed in the SDN sanctions list…,” according to IRGC-affiliated semi-official Fars news agency.

    Continue reading:  via  Iran’s Impasse and the “Sanctions Black Hole” — Iran Liberty

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 4:44 pm on June 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    ANALYSIS: Iran’s future after new US sanctions 

    The regime in Tehran continues to be in a state of shock after the passage of unprecedented United States Senate sanctions on Thursday targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for terrorism in the Middle East and flagrant human rights violations.

    Many of the new measures imposed on Iran are far more complex than any sanctions even prior to the Iran nuclear deal. There is no need for the Trump administration to tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as these new sanctions provide the US President vast authority for further punitive action. This new initiative also contains a classified amendment believed to describe Iran as an extremely dangerous state.

    The threats

    Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir highlighted the importance of this threat after a recent meeting with his British counterpart in London.

    “If Iran seeks respect it must bring an end to supporting terrorism, bombing embassies and spreading sectarianism… Iran also supports terrorism, meddles in others’ affairs, fuels sectarianism, and dispatches the Revolutionary Guards in Iraq, Syria and Yemen,” he said.

    Further signs of the mullahs’ devious intentions are seen as Iran is reported to provide cruise missiles to Yemen’s Houthis and resulting in a grave threat to the strategic Bab el-Mandeb waterway, according to the US.

    As Iran also continues its destructive support for Shiite groups in Iraq, Vice President Ayad Allawi voiced concerns over Tehran of fomenting sectarian rifts across the country prior to next year’s parliamentary election.

    And Iran will also continue its efforts in Syria, as many parties are seeking land grabs to ensure their interests in the post-ISIS era. Knowing this, Tehran is seeking leverages in the region to have negotiating ammunition, especially considering the sweeping actions exerted through the new US Senate resolution.

    A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him delivering a speech during a conference entitled “Implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) a new chapter in Iran’s economy”, on January 19, 2016, in Tehran. (AFP)

    ‘JCPOA 2, 3 and 4’

    Section 5 of this bill enforces sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Any individual providing services to an entity identified in this executive order will result in that individual being placed in the US sanctions list. There is no longer any temporary measures and the individual or entity will be permanently sanctioned.

    All government and non-government branches having any cooperation with the IRGC bear the potential of being blacklisted. Prior to the JCPOA around 600 individuals and entities were blacklisted and the JCPOA delisted around 400. However, with the approval and implementation of this new bill we can forecast a few thousand individuals and entities being blacklisted as a result.

    One sign of Iran’s shock is seen in the fact that the regime’s parliament has postponed its response to the Senate bill after a two-week recess. This is no ordinary sanctions bill against Iran and can be considered a mother initiative paving the path for far reaching sanctions against Tehran that bear no need for legal legislation, as they will become operational through executive orders.

    In the regime’s circles these new sanctions have been described as the end of the JCPOA and the beginning of enormous challenges. Demands by the international community will be increasing and there may be even calls for measures dubbed in Iran as “JCPOA 2, 3 and 4,” covering Iran’s ballistic missile program, meddling and support of terrorism in the region, and their human rights violations dossier.

    Iranian state media outlets have gone as far as describing the new sanctions as “black holes” and the “mother of all sanctions.” The future of Iran’s ballistic missiles are currently considered very dark as these sanctions target all IRGC activities.

    New revelations

    The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance (NCRI) US Office released a statementannouncing their upcoming Tuesday press conference “to reveal information on key centers for production, testing and launching ballistic missiles by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)” and “details (including satellite imagery) on four of the most important missile centers, including one closely linked to Tehran’s nuclear program. In addition, a dozen of hitherto-unknown centers involved in various aspects of production, testing and launching of ballistic missiles will be made public. Information on the role of North Korean experts involved in the construction of these centers will also be discussed.”

    These new sanctions have the IRGC in its crosshairs and seek an end to Iran’s support for the Guards’ regional action and ballistic missiles program. However, the comprehensive nature of this new bill will slowly but surely expand to all organs of the regime in Iran.

    This can be considered the unofficial end of the JCPOA, without the US ever needing to officially tear the accord apart. All previous sanctions are returning, with additions, and yet there is no violation of the Iran nuclear deal whatsoever. The main question here is how will Tehran react?

    The sanctions are returning for one reason and one reason only. The US has come to realize the regime in Iran is in no position to provide any response whatsoever to the new sanctions. To this end, the time has come to in fact levy far more pressure and sanction all branches of the Iranian regime.

    The road ahead

    In the mullahs’ dictionary such setbacks are described as “drinking from the chalice of poison” and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, along with all senior Iranian officials, very well know they must prepare their entire apparatus, ranks and files, for such chalices in the not so distant future.

    These sanctions couldn’t have come at a worse time for Tehran considering the fact that the NCRI is currently preparing for its annual convention scheduled for July 1st in Paris. As Saudi statesman and diplomat Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud stood alongside over 100,000 Iranians from all over the globe in last year’s event, this year’s rally will be joined by hundreds of prominent political dignitaries from the US, Europe and the Middle East.

    This will send a strong message to the international community] that Iran enjoys a major alternative seen in a powerfully organized opposition led by NCRI President Maryam Rajavi and her 10-point-plan envisioning a bright future for a free, liberal and tolerant Iran of tomorrow.

    via  ANALYSIS: Iran’s future after new US sanctions — Iran Commentary

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 4:50 pm on June 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Sanctions,   

    Sanctions on Iran signal a new horizon 

    The United States Senate recently voted overwhelmingly 92-7 in favor of moving forward on evaluating further sanctions against Iran and especially targeting the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Following eight years of Obama’s appeasement, this is a significant turn of events resulting in major concerns amongst Tehran and foreign counterparts. A key signal of Iran’s concerns and […]

    via   Sanctions on Iran signal a new horizon — Iran Commentary

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:53 am on April 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Sanctions,   

    Iran’s sanctions on US companies a comical attempt to get even 

    by Ali Safavi

    by Ali Safavi

    Napoleon once said, “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” Apparently true. Last week, the Iranian regime imposed sanctions on 15 American companies it accused of “support for terrorism,” among other things. None of the targeted U.S. companies do business in Iran. It is safe to say none are reconsidering their futures there.

    The farcical move is apparently a response to U.S. sanctions placed on dozens of Iranian entities earlier this year following Iran’s unlawful ballistic missile tests. It is hard to see how a real estate company made Tehran’s list, but who are we to judge? As the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism, the mullahs presumably know a thing or two about the subject.
    Tehran’s comical tit-for-tat is the latest salvo in reaction to the Trump administration’s tougher rhetoric. For years, America pursued a fervent policy of appeasement, rewarding Tehran’s malicious acts with more concessions. Each round of bad behavior/unearned rewards gave Tehran a false sense of control. That bubble has burst.
    The outlandish behavior will likely continue. One senior Iranian lawmaker said Iran is also considering a bill branding the U.S. military and the CIA as “terrorist groups.” That bill would be its reaction to the U.S. Congress passing a bill designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).
    The White House’s review of that possibility has rattled Tehran. The IRGC controls the overwhelming portion of Iran’s entire economy. An FTO designation would have far-reaching consequences for the mullahs.
    In 2005, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei executed an elaborate and comprehensive plan to strengthen the IRGC. In May of that year, Khamenei issued a directive instructing the government to transfer 80 percent of its holdings to “non-governmental public, private and cooperative sectors” — a.k.a. Khamenei and IRGC affiliates — by 2009. A month later, he engineered the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
    Ahmadinejad came out of nowhere to occupy the presidential palace. A day before the election, official opinion polls had pegged his support at 1.7 percent. The poll favorite, with 28-percent support (a 17-fold superiority over Ahmadinejad), was the former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
    True to form, Ahmadinejad quickly stacked ministries with veterans of the IRGC. Half of his cabinet members were IRGC members. A year earlier, IRGC veterans had won the majority of seats in parliament. Shortly after Ahmadinejad’s win, the IRGC announced an internal restructuring push to reflect its expanding roles and responsibilities on the political playing field.
    According to the new book published by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, entitled, “The Rise of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Financial Empire,” the state-owned assets transferred to the IRGC included large mines, primary industries, foreign commerce, banks, insurance, power industries, post, roads, railroads, airlines and shipping companies.
    By some estimates, $12 billion worth of assets were transferred to Khamenei and the IRGC from 2005 to 2008.
    Khamenei and the IRGC own 14 major powerhouses that run the economy. These include a conglomerate known as Setad; the foundations (or bonyads) like the Mostazafan, Astan-e Qods, and Shahid foundations; the IRGC Cooperatives; major business empires like the Khatam Construction Co. and Ghadir Investments; as well as “cooperatives” controlled by the security forces.
    The IRGC’s rising financial star has been a gold mine for terrorists.
    Tehran is spending anywhere between $15-20 billion annually to fund the war in Syria, including at least $1 billion in salaries to its proxies. At least $1 billion is provided annually to the Lebanese Hezbollah. Yemen and Iraq are two other theaters where the IRGC and Khamenei have poured substantial sums of money to buy regional influence.
    The IRGC has become an economic behemoth. It is now in a position to fund a range of conflicts and terrorist operations in multiple theaters simultaneously, producing widespread devastation for Middle Eastern populations with major security implications for the West.
    Western business ventures and governments should accept the reality that doing business with Iran is doing business with the IRGC. The proceeds, like all the IRGC’s profits, will end up fueling Tehran’s sectarian designs and proxy wars in the region, further threatening regional stability and U.S. interests.
    Tehran must be held accountable for its malign behavior. The new administration should designate the IRGC as a terrorist entity. The possibility alone has inspired Iran’s resort to pathetic countermeasures. However comical, they are harmless. And that’s a step in the right direction.
     Ali Safavi (@amsafavi) is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which is dedicated to the establishment of a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic in Iran.
     
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