Posts Tagged ‘IRGC BlackListing’

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Mayam Rajavi

Maryam Rajavi: Inaction Emboldens the Regime

Mayam Rajavi

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI’s President-elect

The Iranian regime launched a coordinated missile and drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations last weekend. This is a blatant act of war, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Following the attack, regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei denied responsibility for the attacks and refused to engage in negotiations with the United States at any level unless “America repented.”

“They send the Europeans… to insist on us to come and have a meeting with the American President and all your problems will be solved. This is because they want to prove that the policy of maximum pressure is a success. On the contrary, we must prove that the policy of maximum pressure is not worth a penny,” Khamenei added.

U.S. sanctions have reduced Iranian oil exports to nearly zero, crippling its already struggling economy and limiting its ability to fund proxy wars in the region. The regime has responded by using its remaining resources to attack oil tankers and installations and threaten vessels in the strategically-important Strait of Hormuz. The mullahs are operating under the belief that if they can’t sell oil, no one can.

Maryam Rajavi’s Statement

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, issued a statement regarding the latest act of aggression by the Iranian regime. She described the act on a neighboring country’s oil installations as a major step and a new phase in the warmongering and aggressive behavior of the religious dictatorship currently in power in Iran. She added that the world must respond with a decisive display of power, as this is the only language the mullahs understand.

Mrs. Rajavi further stated that inaction emboldens the tyrannical regime, and the primary victims of this inaction are the Iranian people. She emphasized that the Iranian regime is the source of all instability in the Middle East, and the only real solution to ridding the world of the continuing threat posed by Iran is regime change by the Iranian people and their organized resistance movement.

The Correct Response to the Regime’s Aggression

Mrs. Rajavi called on the international community to take the following actions in response to this most recent act of aggression by the Iranian regime:

  • Reinstate the previous U.N. Security Council resolutions on the regime’s nuclear weapons project and the ban on enrichment.
  • Evict the regime, its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and its mercenaries from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.
  • Add Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, his offices, the IRGC, and the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to the European Union’s terrorist watch list.
  • Act immediately within the U.N. Security Council to refer the dossier on the regime’s human rights abuses, particularly those committed during the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners (most of whom were Mujahedin-e Khalq, MEK.PMOI, members), to the International Criminal Court.
  • Recognize the right of the Iranian Resistance to overthrow the ruling theocracy in favor of freedom and democracy.

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British Praliament

British MPs condemn Iran’s  IRGC and MOIS in Early Day Motion

British Praliament

MPs at the United Kingdom Parliament raise attention about the IRGC

Cross-party MPs at the United Kingdom Parliament have used an Early Day Motion to raise attention about the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and their role in the suppression of the Iranian people.

EDM 2333 strongly condemns the IRGC’s role in oppressing the Iranian people, particularly during anti-government protests, and describes the IRGC as a serious threat to the security, freedom, and welfare of the Iranian people, as well as the peace and stability in the Middle East and the world at large.

The British MPs emphasized that the IRGC and the mullahs’ Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) are destructive and terrorist actors, citing a long history of their deadly operations, export of terrorism, murder of foreign nationals, and assassination of Iranian dissidents, particularly members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

One case they cited to demonstrate this was the foiled bomb plot against the NCRI’s annual “Free Iran” grand gathering in Paris on June 2018, where 100,000 gathered to support the 10-point plan of NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi to bring freedom to Iran.

The British MPs called on their government to blacklist the IRGC and the MOIS as a foreign terrorist organization, something they say is in the best interests of the Iranian people, the UK, and the international community.

Bob Blackman, the primary sponsor of EDM 2333 and a major supporter of the MEK and NCRI, said in a statement: “The IRGC and MOIS stand at the center of regime’s domestic crackdown and efforts to create an international crisis with increased aggression in the region and terrorism in Europe as the popular protests across Iran that began last year are undermining the theocracy’s survival.”

Sir David Amess, co-chair of the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF), said: “The EDM, which many of my cross-party colleagues in the House of Commons and I supported, backs the call by NCRI President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi for the designation of IRGC and MOIS as terrorist entities and calls on the Government to proscribe these repressive organs as foreign terrorist organizations in their entirety.”

It is time for the British government and the European Union to listen to these MPs and the Iranian people and take a firm policy against the Regime by imposing sanctions on the IRGC and MOIS, especially given the role of these groups in taking hostage British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe and seizing a British oil tanker in international waters. It is right that they support the Iranian people’s uprising and their organized Resistance.

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Hossein Abedini, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran NCRI)

NCRI representative: U.K. Should “Clip the IRGC’s Wings”

Hossein Abedini, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran NCRI)

Hossein Abedini, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

Hossein Abedini, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran NCRI), urged the U.K. to label the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization in a recent interview with a British website.

In an interview with Express News on Friday, August 23rd, Abedini asked the British government to be the first country to join the United States in classifying the IRGC as a terrorist group. He further urged the members of the G7 to “clip the IRGC’s wings” and to take a stand against the Iranian regime’s involvement in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.

The U.S. State Department designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) in April 2019. The United States followed this designation with sanctions against the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. The U.S. Treasury Department has also sanctioned a number of companies for their affiliations to designated individuals and entities.

The G7 summit took place in France this weekend.

Only One Solution

“I think the solution is, to tell you very frankly, there is only one solution,” said Abedini.

“The Iranian regime only understands the language of decisiveness and firmness.

“They consider any soft-line approach as a sign of weakness and they become more involved in continuing mass killings inside Iran as well as their aggressive foreign policy in different countries.

“For example, propping up Bashar Al-Assad in Syria and supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon,” he elaborated.

Abedini proposed a single solution to all of these problems: “The IRGC has to be prescribed as a terrorist organization as the US has already considered.”

“And also, the Supreme Leader of the regime, and the office of the Supreme Leader of the regime, which is the center of all these terrorist activities,” he added.

“We are hoping that the British Government and the British Prime Minister will reach this conclusion—and this is what many members of the U.K. Parliament and many politicians here also think would be the real solution,” Abedini noted.

Main Force of Terrorist Attacks

Mr. Abedini went on to emphasize that “the IRGC is the main force carrying all these terrorist attacks and the instability in the region.

“So to clip its wings is really the only solution. The regime has to be expelled from these countries.”

Iranian protest against Zarif

Iranians demand to expel the Iranian regime from Europe for its terrorist activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NCRI and the MEK have long called for the IRGC to be blacklisted by the international community for their role in the suppression of their own people and for their exportation of terrorism abroad. The IRGC is deeply unpopular inside Iran and is the primary security forces used to suppress peaceful protests and the exercise of free speech. The IRGC has mercilessly tried to stamp out the MEK, both at home and abroad.

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Olli Heinonen

Iran Is Six to Eight Months away from Developing a Nuclear Weapon, Warns Former UN Official

Olli Heinonen

Olli Heinonen the former Deputy Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), During a Conference in the offices of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)-U.S. representative office – May 9, 2018

Olli Heinonen, the former Deputy Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), warned that the Iranian regime could develop a nuclear weapon in as little as six to eight months and that the international community would be unable to ensure global security if they are allowed to reach nuclear capability. He said that claims to the contrary by current IAEA officials are incorrect, according to a June 5th report on the Newsmax website.

The IAEA acts as a nuclear watchdog for the United Nations.

Heinonen asked, “How will you be able to ensure your security if Iran achieves nuclear abilities?”

New Centrifuges

Heinonen also stressed that the United States’ departure from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, and subsequent reimposition of oil sanctions on the Iranian regime would not be enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear capabilities.

“The ayatollahs can handle the new sanctions, and in the meantime, they’re making new centrifuges,” Heinonen said.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently spoke up to say that Iran has been cheating with its nuclear program.

“In addition to secretly storing blueprints for nuclear weapons and refusing to turn over materials related to their nuclear weapons program, now they have pushed the envelope so far on centrifuges that the cheating can no longer be denied,” he said.

End of the Era of Appeasement

The United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 because the regime had continued their nuclear and missiles programs despite the terms of the deal. The U.S reimposed sanctions on Iranian oil late last year, crippling the already failing Iranian economy and adding more fuel to the flames of the Resistance movement that began in December 2017.

The move was met with outrage by the mullahs, who had long depended on the Western policy of appeasement to continue their malign activities without fear of reprisal. Regime officials boasted that they had never discontinued their nuclear program at all, even as European leaders struggled to save the nuclear deal.

Europe finally took some action against Iran after regime agents plotted a series of foiled terrorist attacks against the MEK in 2018. A number of regime Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agents and diplomats were blacklisted and expelled from European countries, and the E.U. imposed sanctions against the MOIS.

This year, the United States eliminated all waivers to countries still receiving Iranian oil, effectively reducing Iranian oil imports to zero. The U.S. Treasury also designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

The IRGC is the entity responsible for the regime’s nuclear weapons program, as well as its foreign terrorist operations and its domestic suppression efforts.

Iran’s economy is in shambles, due to the regime’s own incompetence and corruption. The IRGC’s terrorist designation has choked off its funding for its warmongering in the region and diminished Iran’s influence in the Middle East. Anti-regime sentiment in the country has reached a fever pitch, and people are protesting on the streets for change. The mullahs are left with few options. It would be a mistake to underestimate their capacity to develop a nuclear weapon.

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Ken Blackwell's opinion on IRGC's blacklisting

Former US Ambassador Joins Calls for MOIS Terror Designation

Ken Blackwell's opinion on IRGC's blacklisting

Ambassador, Ken Blackwell speaks with the Media about Iran policy, July 9th, 2016

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission Ken Blackwell wrote an op-ed in Townhall, the conservative US news and analysis site. Blackwell’s piece, entitled ‘America’s Assertive Iran Policy Must Continue’, called on the US government to maintain pressure against the Iranian regime and confront Iranian aggression with a focused campaign of financial and diplomatic efforts.

Blackwell began by praising the Trump administration’s Iran policy, however, expressed concerns about the pace of its progress.

He lamented the fact that it took the US government until May of 2018 before the Trump administration withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal, despite it being a campaign promise. He also mentioned the year delay between withdrawing from the deal and ending the waivers granted to countries importing Iranian oil.

Unprecedented Assertiveness

Despite the slow pace of change, Blackwell said that “The administration’s strategy for dealing with Iran and facilitating comprehensive change in its behavior has moved from merely ‘assertive’ to ‘unprecedented’,”.

Of particular note for Blackwell was the decision to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. The previous US and European governments deliberated but ultimately elected not to apply the designation to a branch of the “Iranian government”, instead, selecting to sanction individuals within the IRGC instead of the organ itself.

This was a mistake. The IRGC is one of the Iranian regime’s pillars of repression. It also controls around 90% of the Iranian economy through affiliated companies and has been instrumental in the Iranian government’s ability to circumvent sanctions and funnel money to terrorist and militia groups abroad.

Going One Step Further

The move was also welcomed by the Iranian opposition. At a press conference in Washington DC, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)  welcomed the designation. The pro-democracy groups urged the US government to consider going one step further and designating the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) as another foreign terror organization.

The argument is gaining some traction. Blackwell also supports the move. “While the IRGC has a long track record of terrorist activity on foreign soil and support for well-known terrorist proxies like Hezbollah, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has been directly linked to the planning of bombings and assassinations,” he said.

Last year alone, the MOIS was responsible for organizing terror attacks and assassinations in the US, Albania, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany. Using its network of Iranian embassies on foreign soil, the MOIS has constructed a network of espionage and terror that has crept across Europe.

Although each of the 10 plots was foiled by European and US agencies, several came close to wreaking untold death and destruction on the European populace. In one incident, the MOIS attempted to detonate a car bomb at the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK)’s annual Grand Gathering Event in Paris. The event featured 100,000 distinguished guests, including MEK supporters across Europe and high-profile political figures like Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani.

More is Needed

Blackwell’s piece described how, although the US government is making unprecedented progress towards neutralizing the Iran threat, more is needed to bring stability to the Middle East and beyond.

Existing sanctions reportedly helped bring about a 10% decline in the Iranian regime’s military expenditure. However, “Iranian entities are still clearly threatening Western lives and territory,” Blackwell writes. “We cannot afford to take it for granted that this trend has gone far enough, or that it will continue naturally.”

Blackwell concluded: “The international community must keep its focus on the positive effects of preexisting economic pressures, all the while wisely targeting new measures against those Iranian entities whose violent threat has yet to be addressed.”

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Washington Times reflection of the NCRI-US press briefing

Former US Ambassador to Bahrain: “This is About Life and Death”

Washington Times reflection of the NCRI-US press briefing

The Washington Times published an article on the recent press briefing by the National Council of Resistance of Iran – U.S. representative office, on the Inner Workings of Tehran’s terror network.

The Washington Times published a piece on Wednesday, May 1, covering the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI’s) press conference in Washington D.C.

The Deputy Director of the NCRI’s US operations, Alireza Jafarzadeh, is quoted in the piece pushing for the US government to take a firmer stance against the bloody and violent Iranian regime. In the press conference, Jafarzadeh urged the United States to add the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) to its terror blacklist.

An Instrument of Terror

The MOIS has been behind many of the mullahs’ state-sponsored terror attacks planned across the globe. In 2018 alone, the Iranian regime orchestrated 10 separate terror attacks in countries like France, Albania and the US.

The MOIS uses diplomatic buildings in Europe as cover to send terror agents into the countries. In one incident last year, a diplomat working out of the regime’s Austrian embassy provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material. The couple’s target was the annual Grand Gathering of the largest Iranian opposition group in Paris.

“It is a clear sign of desperation. … The policy of [Iranian] appeasement had failed,” Jafarzadeh said. In response to increasing international isolation, the Iranian regime has increased its global terror activities.

“If [the U.S.] wants to fight terrorism, you designate the MOIS” as a terror organization, Jafarzadeh told reporters. Other notable terror groups on the US foreign terrorist organization (FTO) blacklist include al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, etc.

Progress Under Trump

The strong progress in Iran policy under Donald Trump has not been lost on the NCRI and the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK). The Trump administration has withdrawn the United States from the failing Iran nuclear deal, re-introduced economic sanctions, and listed the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

These moves have restricted the regime’s cash flow and brought enormous pressure against the Iranian regime to return to the bargaining table.

This has been the objective according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He told reporters, “We’re going to zero across the board. Our goal has been to get countries to cease importing Iranian oil altogether.”

A Matter of Life and Death

“This is not theoretical mumbo-jumbo, this is about life and death,” former US Ambassador to Bahrain Adam Ereli said on Wednesday. The Iranian regime’s persistent use of terror and intimidation as a tool of statecraft is a danger to global peace and stability.

The US must respond with strength and place the MOIS on its terror blacklist. Until it does so, it will continue to raise funds and coordinate devastating attacks across the West. It is a matter of life and death for every member of the Iranian opposition living abroad in exile, but also for the citizens of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the US, who are at risk of being caught up in a deadly Iranian terror attack.

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FCDI statement

French Committee for a Democratic Iran Calls for IRGC and MOIS Terror Listing

FCDI statement

French Committee for a Democratic Iran (FCDI) recently issued a statement calling for IRGC and MOIS blacklisting in Europe.

The French Committee for a Democratic Iran (FCDI) has urged the European Union (EU) to join the United States government in designating the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. They also urged the EU to go one step further and include the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) on their terror blacklist.

The Regime’s Pillars of Repression

The Iranian regime uses the IRGC as a repressive organ. Its agents stifle public dissent. Following the nationwide uprisings in 2018, in which protests spread rapidly across Iran’s 31 provinces, the IRGC was instrumental in crushing dissent. It arrested thousands of protestors, more than 14 of which died in IRGC custody after being subjected to torture.

By including the IRGC on the EU’s terror blacklist, it would severely limit the organization’s ability to raise funds. The IRGC controls more than 90% of the Iranian economy. Its inclusion on a terror blacklist would essentially put any international company or government trading with its shell companies in violation of terror financing laws.

The FCDI also wants to see the MOIS added to the EU’s list of terror organizations. There is strong ground for it to do so. The MOIS has been responsible for the Iranian regime’s surge of state-sponsored terror attacks in 2018.

The MOIS planned terror attacks in the US, France, and Albania. On one occasion, an MOIS agent posing as a diplomat at the regime’s embassy in Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with homemade explosives and instructed them to detonate a bomb at the annual Grand Gathering of the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) in Paris.

The plot was thwarted by Belgian officials; however, the regime put more than 100,000 lives at risk, including that of President Trump’s personal lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who was in attendance.

The Regime Poses a Threat to the Region and Beyond

In a statement, the FCDI reiterated the threat the IRGC poses to the Middle East region and beyond. It reminded the EU that the IRGC proxies are active in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon, destabilizing peace and contributing to the deaths of civilians and international forces.

“Tehran also sacrifices the Iranian people’s legitimate needs for the sake of providing the heavy expenses of expanding its nuclear apparatus and fueling its destructive foreign adventurism,” it added. “This regime is oppressing the Iranian people’s most basic necessities and is deaf to the younger generation’s freedom-loving demands.”

However, the FCDI added that the Iranian people have a beacon of hope. The MEK is active across the country. Its resistance units work tirelessly to oppose the regime’s violence and brutality and bring democracy to Tehran.

The FCDI concluded by calling on all democratic nations to offer their support to the alternative to the Iranian dictatorship, the NCRI, and its President-elect Maryam Rajavi.

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Struan Stevenson speaking at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Former MEP Urges the US to Increase Pressure on the Iranian Regime

Struan Stevenson speaking at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Archive photo: Struan Stevenson, former MEP, and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC), speaking at the Geneva Conference on the situation of human rights in Iran-March 7, 2019

The former member of the European Parliament Struan Stevenson published an op-ed for UPI on Thursday, April 25. He used the opportunity to urge the US government to maintain its application of financial pressure on the Iranian regime and end its reign of violence and tyranny.

Stevenson called President Trump’s decision to end waivers for Turkey, Iraq, India, Japan, and China that permitted them to continue purchasing Iranian oil “the final nail” in “the mullahs’ coffin.” For Stevenson, this was a necessary move to slash Iranian oil exports closer to “zero” goal.

He also welcomed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement of the US’s inclusion of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) on the US terror blacklist. Stevenson predicted that the move would drastically restrict the funds available to the Iranian regime.

“The IRGC controls almost 90 percent of the Iranian economy, so it will be virtually impossible for anyone to trade with Iran without breaching US sanctions or facing severe penalties for dealing with a listed terrorist organization,” he writes.

The Next Step

Stevenson outlines the next step for President Donald Trump. This would be the addition of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) on the same foreign terrorist organization (FTO) blacklist.

“In June last year, a trained MOIS agent posing as an Iranian diplomat from its embassy in Vienna was arrested by German police and charged with handling a bomb to two other MOIS agents, instructing them to detonate it at a peaceful opposition rally in Paris,” he wrote.

The trained MOIS agent was Assadollah Assadi. He was working out of the Iranian regime’s embassy in Vienna.

Then, in December, the Albanian prime minister announced the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador and his first secretary. Edi Rama told his Albanian people that the pair posed a risk to the country’s national security. “Once again, these so-called diplomats were revealed as trained MOIS agents who had been plotting bomb attacks and assassinations of opponents of the regime in Albania,” Stevenson writes.

Freeing the Iranian People from the Shackles of the Regime

The Iranian public welcomed the IRGC listing with earnest. They are organizing protests against the mullahs and their bloody regime on a daily basis. This week, teachers and construction workers marched in Iran’s streets, next week it could be truck drivers, students, pensioners, farmers, investors, or any other segment of Iran’s repressed population.

“Iranians are sick to death of the repression and brutality they have been forced to suffer for four decades under the medieval fascist dictatorship,” Stevenson claims. At the heart of their grievances is the regime’s decision to spend Iranian funds on proxy wars and militia groups in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon. At protests, chants of “forget Syria, forget Hezbollah, what about us?” ring out.

The mullahs use the IRGC as a tool of repression. They send the IRGC to crush protests and arrest dissidents. Following the nationwide uprisings orchestrated by the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in early 2018, the regime arrested thousands of protestors. At least 14 died in regime custody under conditions of torture.

The most recent protests have focused on the regime’s inaction in the wake of recent flooding. Protestors denounced the regime’s inaction after flooding left at least 250 dead and many more without access to food and water. Instead of making the IRGC’s resources available to the rescue effort, including boats, helicopters, and shelter, the regime deployed mercenaries to keep civil order and prevent protests. Meanwhile, the Iranian people suffered.

“Some 80 million Iranians have lost their fear,” Stevenson writes, “They long for the freedom, justice, human rights, women’s rights, an end to the death penalty, an end to the nuclear threat and the restoration of a secular democracy that is being offered by the main and best-organized resistance movement, the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK).”

Resistance units across Iran are capturing the national sentiment, organizing protests, opposing regime violence and human rights abuses, and proudly displaying posters of the Iranian opposition’s President-elect Maryam Rajavi.

Stevenson concludes, “The Iranian population now recognizes that they have support in the West. They know that the U.S. administration will continue to turn the screw until this evil regime is replaced and peace and stability in the Middle East and worldwide can be restored.”

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IRGC blacklisting

U.S. Should Designate MOIS as a Terrorist Organization

IRGC blacklisting

IRGC blacklisted for its terrorist activities.

On April 8th, the United States announced that it had added the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). The designation carries significant economic and political consequences for the IRGC, as well as the Iranian regime, and has already jeopardized Iranian regime’s chances at gaining membership in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The FTO designation applies to the IRGC and all of its associated entities, including the Quds Force, the Basij Organization, and the Aerospace, Navy, and Ground Forces. Anyone found providing these entities or their officials with financial support, equipment, training, or professional advice will face civil and/or criminal prosecution by U.S. federal authorities.

Consequences of FTO Designation

The Iranian Resistance has called for the international community to blacklist the IRGC for many years because of its suppressive actions toward its own people and its terrorist activities in the region. The FTO designation is a welcome step toward curtailing the regime’s ability to finance and provoke regional hostilities.

Because of the FTO designation, the Iranian regime will no longer be able to deliver promised money, weapons, training, or fighters to IRGC-affiliated militia groups participating in wars and regional conflicts. According to the Pentagon, the Iranian regime was responsible for the deaths of at least 608 U.S. service members in Iraq between 2003 and 2011. Currently, the regime spends billions each year supporting Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship in Syria. IRGC groups will also lack funding to train terrorist groups to carry out attacks, as they have done numerous times over the past four decades.

The IRGC’s reach extends far beyond the military. The Revolutionary Guards control more than half of Iran’s economy, which means that anyone who chooses to work with an Iranian business or entity faces the possibility that they might be aiding a terrorist group and could suffer serious consequences as a result.

The MOIS and its Terrorist Activities

Designating the IRGC as an FTO is an excellent step in ending the Iranian regime’s reign of terror, but the U.S. needs to go further. Last year, the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) was responsible for coordinating terrorist plots against MEK members in Albania, France, Denmark, and the United States. The foiled bombing of the annual gathering of the MEK outside of Paris in June 2018 led to the arrest and prosecution of a regime diplomat, who masterminded the attack on behalf of the MOIS. Several MOIS agents were expelled from Europe as a result of the planned attack, and Europe sanctioned the MOIS for their role in terrorist activities.

Last summer, Facebook and Twitter removed hundreds of fake accounts belonging to agents of the Iranian regime. The accounts were created to disseminate false information, much of which was intended to vilify the MEK. The MOIS was responsible for this large scale operation to deceive the American people.

Next Steps

The Iranian people are very close to overthrowing the theocratic regime and restoring democracy to their country. Since the widespread uprisings of December 2017, the MEK has taken the lead in organizing anti-regime protests across the country, and the Resistance Movement has spread. Protests, strikes, and demonstrations occur on a daily basis, despite the suppressive actions of the regime and its forces. The country is nearing a revolt.

As the MEK and the Iranian Resistance grow in strength and number, so does the regime’s fear. The MOIS has stepped up its terrorist activities against the MEK over the past year, and it is likely to continue to escalate its attacks on foreign soil.

It is time to end the terrorist Iranian regime. Resuming sanctions and designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization is a productive means to curb the regime’s financial access to power. Adding the MOIS to the FTO list would be a sensible next step that would make the world safer for everyone. Recognizing the right of the Iranian Resistance to overthrow their oppressors would then clear the way for the people to finally choose their own destiny. The final steps lie in the hands of the Iranian people.

 

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Alireza Jafarzadeh

Deputy Director of the NCRI’s US Office Examines the IRGC’s FTO Designation

Alireza Jafarzadeh

Alireza Jafarzadeh during an NCRI press conference in Washington on 27 April 2017. During this conference, Jafarzadeh based on first-hand information exposed the continuation of the Iranian regime’s nuclear activities despite the nuclear agreement by the IRGC affiliated officials in SPND.

Alireza Jafarzadeh of the National Council of Resistance of Iran penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner on Sunday, April 21. Entitled ‘Iran’s guard gets a long-overdue but much-deserved terrorist designation’, the piece examines the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and analyses the recent designation of the group as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) by the US State Department.

Jafarzadeh began by welcoming the designation. “This is a major step towards effectively countering Tehran’s systemic use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” he said.

The IRGC Meets the State Department’s Criteria

In order for an entity to be eligible for inclusion in the US government’s terror blacklist, it must meet the State Department’s criteria:

  • It must be a foreign organization.
  • It must engage in acts of terrorism or retain the capability and intent to engage in acts of terror.
  • It must threaten American nationals or the national security of the United States.

Jafarzedah states that IRGC adequately meets these three criteria. “It is the core apparatus of repression, the primary driver of war and export of terrorism, and it runs Iran’s nuclear weapons and missile projects,” he writes.

The Move was Welcomed by the Iranian Opposition

The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) and the leader of the opposition, President-elect Maryam Rajavi, have long called for the IRGC’s inclusion on the US terror blacklist. Following the announcement, Mrs. Rajavi issued a statement praising the US’s response to a “long-standing and righteous demand of the Iranian Resistance.”

She called the designation an “urgent and necessary step to end war and terrorism throughout the region and the world.”

Hard Realizations

Jafarzadeh also examined the response from Tehran. He asserted that the mullahs’ “realize that from this point on, they will have drastically less room to mount terror operations and act with impunity.”

The regime has already demonstrated that it lacks the resources and mechanisms to contain uprisings and public protest. At the tail end of 2017 and into 2018, the MEK-led national uprising quickly spread across all 31 Iranian provinces and hit all of Iran’s major towns and cities.

The regime relied on the IRGC’s suppressive tactics to restore order and maintain its grip on power. With the IRGC severely weakened by the FTO designation and with constrained financial resources, should another uprising emerge, the regime will find its vital repressive organ stretched beyond its capabilities? “In short, Tehran is much weaker now than it was a year or so ago,” Jafarzadeh writes.

“The foreign terrorist organization designation gives U.S. officials an additional tool for prosecuting Americans who help the Iranian regime,” he continues. But beyond the financial limitations and reduced international support, the designation also scores a major psychological victory over the IRGC.

It demoralizes the IRGC forces and their proxies abroad. It shows them that they are not on the winning side. “The designation should also boost the morale of Iranians, who detest the Guard,” Jafarzadeh adds.

It will also resonate across the rest of the world. The designation will prompt second thoughts from European companies considering doing business with the IRGC.

Jafarzadeh concludes:

“The next step is to identify all Guard affiliate entities and subject them to sanctions. The foreign terrorist organization designation strikes a major blow to the terror apparatus of the regime. Tehran’s terrorists and those who enable them can finally be made to pay the price.”

Staff writer

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