How to Sanction Iran

[Washington Times] Matthew Levitt - The most robust and effective nonmilitary tool available to the international community is to apply in full UN Security Council Resolution 1737, passed in December. It would employ travel bans and targeted financial sanctions against Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi and IRGC air force chief General Hosein Salimi, who are listed as persons involved in Iran's nuclear and/or ballistic missile programs. By virtue of listing the overall head of the IRGC (and the head of its air force), the UN empowered member-states to freeze IRGC funds and financial assets. The Revolutionary Guards are precisely the element within Iran that should be targeted. Considered the backbone of Ahmedinejad's political powerbase, the Guards are an elite military corps that operates independently of Iran's regular armed forces. The IRGC is deeply involved in the country's nuclear, missile and other weapons proliferation activities, and maintains a special branch - the Qods Force - responsible for providing funds, weapons, IED technology and training to terrorist groups like Hizbullah and Hamas and insurgents attacking Coalition and Iraqi forces in Iraq. Indeed, Qods Force commander Mohsin Chizari was among the six Iranians detained in northern Iraq by U.S. forces last month. The writer is senior fellow and director of the Stein Program on Terrorism, Intelligence and Policy at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2007-02-20 01:00:00

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