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Black list IRGC,Dr. Majid Rafizadeh,Iran Terrorism

MEK-Iran: Expert Criticizes Regime’s Use of Foreign Prisoners as Political Pawns

Zarif and Jafari, two faces of a criminal dictatorship

Javad Zarif, Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister embraces Ali Jafari, the then commander-in-chief of the “Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), now blacklisted as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a leading expert on Iran policy and president of the International American Council, penned an op-ed for Arab News on Thursday, May 2. Entitled, ‘Iranian regime uses foreign prisoners as political pawns’, the piece examined the way the Iranian regime uses prisoners in international diplomacy and the treatment of foreign citizens as political currency, to be traded and leveraged to further regime interests.

During Javad Zarif’s recent visit to the US, the Iranian foreign minister made a shocking offer to Western nations whose citizens are currently languishing in Iranian prisons. He offered to exchange them for Iranian prisoners inside the US and European nations.

“I put this offer on the table, publicly, now. Exchange them. All these people that are in prison inside the United States, on an extradition request from the United States… Let us exchange them,” he said.

False Hope

The centralized structure of power in Iran means that only the Supreme Leader Khamenei is able to make such offers and follow through with them. The matter of prisoner exchanges would fall under the remit of the judiciary. The head of the judiciary is appointed by Khamenei. Therefore, the judicial system would need Khamenei’s direct approval to make any prisoner exchange offers.

Zarif appeared to acknowledge this. In an interview, when Zarif was probed further on the details and quizzed about the possible release of eight US environmentalist from an Iranian prison, he responded with: “This is not my job. Our judiciary is independent. I have not agreed with the accusations against them, but I am busy enough preventing wars and economic pressures.”

Both the American government and the European Parliament have raised the issue of the eight detained environmentalists with the Iranian government before. In a letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, several members of the European Parliament complained, “we understand that the Iranian judiciary has accused the activists of using environmental projects as a cover to collect classified strategic information, but a committee established under your authority has found no evidence of these allegations.”

The Iranian government has not yet responded. It has been previously unwilling to release the eight environmentalists or any of the other seven American and European prisoners currently detained in prisons across Iran.

Rafizadeh describes how under President Hassan Rouhani, several countries have increased their travel warnings, urging their citizens to take extra precautions, and in some cases, advising against traveling to Iran while the regime is in power.

The British Foreign Office recently warned all UK-Iranian dual nations to avoid traveling to Iran.

Political Pawns

The Iranian regime has a long history of using detained foreigners as diplomatic leverage to advance its international interests. Rafizadeh concluded: “In a nutshell, the Iranian regime is once again using foreign citizens as hostages in order to blackmail other governments.

He urged: “It is incumbent on these countries not to submit to Tehran’s hostage-taking game. Accepting Iran’s terms will only embolden and empower the regime.”

Staff writer

 

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Black list IRGC,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Black list the IRGC

United States Designates IRGC as a Terrorist Organization

Black list the IRGC

The infographic explains why the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps should be black listed.

On Monday, the United States government may officially designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), coming at the end of months of debate and negotiations. The unprecedented move is another step in the Trump administration’s crackdown on the Iranian regime.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has called for years the international community to blacklist the IRGC and to end its policy of appeasement toward the mullahs’ regime. On January 11th, Mrs. Rajavi called for the United States to list the IRGC as an FTO.

The IRGC is a military force that answers only to the regime’s Supreme Leader. Since the mullahs seized power in 1979, the IRGC has played a major role in the suppression of dissent within Iran and the regime’s exportation of terror. The IRGC is now one of the most powerful entities within Iran, influencing the economy, the regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and its terrorist operations.

 

During his tenure at the Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notes that IRGC-affiliated companies control approximately twenty percent of Iran’s economy.

 

Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton have both praised the designation as a measure that will apply additional pressure on the ruling regime in Iran. Bolton Bolton has spoken in support of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance on several occasions and has supported efforts to end the Western policy of appeasement toward the mullahs.

U.S. President Donald Trump is also firmly in support of the new terrorist designation, which is in keeping with his policy toward Iran. Policy experts say that the impact of the move will be significant.

 

The United States Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees all U.S. forces in the Middle East and North Africa, is bracing for the possibility of retaliatory attacks against troops stationed in the area. Commanders are currently deciding whether to issue a regional warning to troops in the area as a preventative measure.

The IRGC’s Terrorist History

Over the past forty years, the IRGC has engaged in both domestic and international terrorism. The IRGC continues to violently crack down on protests and dissent within Iran, firing live rounds into crowds of people, conducting mass arrests, torturing detained protesters, and violently assaulting peaceful gatherings.

The IRGC has also been responsible for sponsoring and training proxy groups to commit terrorist acts. Over the past four decades, the IRGC and its proxies have been responsible for:

  • The 1983 Beirut Bombings, which killed more than 240 United States Marines inside their barracks. The IRGC trained and funded the terrorist Lebanese Hezbollah group who carried out the attack.
  • The 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Argentina.
  • The 1994 AMIA bombing in Argentina.
  • The 1996 Khobar Tower bombing in Saudi Arabia.
  • The killings of hundreds of American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Funding, training and equipping proxies in wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

Effect of FTO Designation

The designation of the IRGC as a Terrorist Organization will strengthen the ability of the U.S. to take practical measures against the group and the many individuals and companies associated with it. Previous actions taken by the U.S. Treasury were limited in their ability to take on the vast network of entities associated with the IRGC.

Once an organization is designated as an FTO, all individuals and groups are banned from providing support of any kind, including financial services, equipment, specialist advice, or arms or transportation equipment, to any IRGC-controlled entity or IRGC official.

Anyone found in violation of the designation could face civil and/or criminal penalties.

Staff writer

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