Iran Sanctions – Targeting the IRGC

By Faye Higbee

President Trump has called the new Sanctions Legislation “flawed.” But he signed it anyway. Why? What was in it? One section took aim at the IRGC, The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, for the first time as a sponsor of Terrorism.  Previously the only part of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard called sponsors of terrorism were the Qods forces. This designation now includes all of the IRGC.

While the bill has been largely reported in regard to Russia, there are other portions, some good, some concerning.


CNS news reported,

Iran experts in the U.S. have long argued that the Qods Force and broader IRGC are inseparable, and that there is little point in accusing one of terror-sponsorship but not the other.

The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act signed Wednesday – which imposes sanctions on Iran as well as on Russia and North Korea – makes the same point.

“The IRGC, not just the IRGC–QF, is responsible for implementing Iran’s international program of destabilizing activities, support for acts of international terrorism, and ballistic missile program,” it states.

The legislation instructs the president within 90 days to impose sanctions, under E.O. 13224, against “the IRGC and foreign persons that are officials, agents, or affiliates of the IRGC.”

Iran has been furious with the United States for the new sanctions and says the US is in “violation” of the Iran Nuclear Deal, according to Iranian media. They have drafted their own sanctions legislation against the United States.

The EU is also concerned over the Trump administration’s apprehension of the Nuclear Deal and is not in favor of the legislation.

But the exiled National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has championed the legislation, saying that it was long overdue.

“The terrorist designation and sanctions against the IRGC should have taken place a long time ago since the IRGC protects the entirety of the clerical regime.

It also acts as the regime’s main instrument of suppression and export of terrorism and extremism. However, the policy of appeasing the mullahs’ religious dictatorship paved the way for rampage in the entire region by the IRGC and its proxies.” NCRI statement

Iran  promises a strong response to the new sanctions. Russia is beyond ticked off and says we have declared “all out economic war.” North Korea is…well, North Korea.

President Trump in a box

For his part, president Trump says that the bill has several provisions that are “clearly unconstitutional.” You can read his statement in full here at the LA Times. The sanctions bill undermines the Executive Powers, which simply means that Congress has once again tried to tie the President’s hands. Our question is, where were they when Obama rode roughshod over the Constitution? Crickets.