Last week, the U.S. government officially designated Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)—the paramilitary organization responsible for the bulk of the regime’s evildoing at home and abroad—as a terrorist organization. The designation imposes sanctions on the IRGC, but, argue Bradley Bowman and Andrew Gabel, Washington has at its disposal additional economic measures it can use against the group, and ample reason to use them:
According to new information released last week by the administration, Iran was responsible for the deaths of over 600 U.S. service members in Iraq between 2003 and 2011, a significant percentage of U.S. casualties in the conflict. That statistic does not include the thousands of Americans injured in Iraq due to the actions of Tehran and its proxies. . . . The IRGC and its [expeditionary wing], the Quds Force, played a pivotal role in supporting the Shiite militia proxies that employed Iranian weapons [to attack U.S. troops and Iraqis]. . . .
Tehran’s effort to kill American troops in Iraq during that period was part of a longstanding campaign targeting the U.S. military. Indeed, Iran played an important role in the 1983 Beirut embassy bombing that killed 241 American service members, and it helped plan and finance the 1996 Khobar Towers truck bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed nineteen U.S. airmen. . . . Tehran has also served as an active collaborator with al-Qaeda—harboring, training, and supporting al-Qaeda operatives for years.
It is past time to impose and to enforce maximally the toughest possible sanctions against the sectors of the Iranian economy that touch the IRGC. The designation of the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization provides an opportunity to hold foreign persons criminally liable for supporting the IRGC’s terrorism and actions against our troops. The IRGC controls an expansive criminal, financial, and industrial empire accounting for between 20 to 40 percent of the Iranian gross domestic product by most estimates. . . .