Europe

TIP CEO: Stabilizing the Middle East Means Weakening the IRGC

With the designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) as a terrorist organization, the United States has taken a critical step in curbing the regime’s aggression in the region and its ongoing intention to arm itself with nuclear weapons, TIP CEO and President, Josh Block, argued in an op-ed published in JNS on Tuesday.

“Whereas the European Union has blacklisted only some individuals in the IRGC—entertaining the illusion that some factions in the organization can be reasoned with—the United States has taken the only logical step and has put the entire organization on its terrorist list,” Block explained.

“Just as it is impossible to separate Hezbollah’s political wing from its military wing, it’s impossible to separate the IRGC from the regime, the Quds Force from the IRGC, or draw other artificial distinctions that prevent the European Union from taking meaningful steps against Iran’s reign of terror,” he added.

In addition to the significant control it exerts over Iran’s economy, the IRGC supports terror groups and Shiite militias throughout the region through its Quds Force, which is commanded by Gen. Qassem Suleimani. The IRGC also controls Iran’s ballistic missile program. Tehran has warned that it has missiles with a range of up to 1,242 miles, putting both Israel and U.S. military bases in the region within reach.

The U.S. designation makes it easier to target the EU and other entities still doing business with Iran following the reimposition of sanctions. Britain, France, and Germany announced at the end of January the launch of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), a central part of European attempts to salvage the 2015 nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic.

“It is truly shameful that European states continue to evade U.S. sanctions as the regime in Tehran continues its reign of terror at the expense of its own people and the stability of the entire region,” Block noted.

“The European Union and other actors must understand that they cannot stabilize the Middle East, nor protect their own security interests, without first weakening the IRGC,” he concluded.

[Photo: Tasnim News / Wikimedia Commons]