Iranian Revolutionary Guard to Be Labeled "Terrorist"

[Washington Post] Robin Wright - The U.S. has decided to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country's 125,000-strong elite military branch, as a "specially designated global terrorist," according to U.S. officials, a move that allows Washington to target the group's business operations and finances. The move against the Revolutionary Guard is because of what U.S. officials have described as its growing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as its support for extremists throughout the Middle East. The main goal of the new designation is to clamp down on the Revolutionary Guard's vast business network, as well as on foreign companies conducting business linked to the military unit and its personnel. For weeks, the Bush administration has been debating whether to target the Revolutionary Guard Corps in full, or only its Quds Force wing, which U.S. officials have linked to the growing flow of explosives, roadside bombs, rockets and other arms to Shiite militias in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Quds Force also lends support to Shiite allies such as Lebanon's Hizbullah and to Sunni movements such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The Revolutionary Guard Corps - with its own navy, air force, ground forces and special forces units - is a rival to Iran's conventional troops. Its naval forces abducted 15 British sailors and marines this spring, sparking an international crisis, and its special forces armed Lebanon's Hizbullah with missiles used against Israel in the 2006 war.

2007-08-15 01:00:00

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