Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is poised to reap a large windfall as a result of a recently inked nuclear accord with Western powers that will fully remove economic sanctions on the fighting force and allow it to continue pursuing rogue activities across the globe, according to analysts and a copy of entities set to be delisted as part of the agreement.
In addition to lifting embargoes on Iran’s shipment of weapons and its ballistic missile program, the Obama administration has permitted the European Union to lift sanctions on the IRGC, which has long served as Iran’s main supporter of terrorism and has backed groups such as Hezbollah.
Under the deal, EU sanctions on the IRGC Air Force, the IRGC Quds Force, and the IRGC-Air Force Al-Ghadir Missile Command will be waived within eight years, according to the agreement.
Analysts familiar with the deal and sanctions waivers warn that the IRGC will become legitimized and further empowered to carry out its rogue mission to bolster the Islamic Republic.
“The Quds Force, the IRGC’s external arm, is active across the region,” according to a policy brief by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). “It fuels the Syrian government’s brutal war effort by transporting weapons, advisors and military personnel to Damascus.”
“The group has trained foreign fighters from Afghanistan and Iraq to fight alongside Hezbollah in Syria, its senior commanders are on the front lines in Syria and Iraq and it was linked to a 2011 plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington,” according to FDD.
“Now that the U.S. has allowed sales of commercial aircraft, including cargo jets, to Iranian airlines, the Quds Force will have access to newer, larger, and more efficient planes with which to pursue its strategic objectives,” according to FDD.
Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iran expert and associate fellow at FDD, explained that the Obama administration caved to Iranian demands that its terror army receive sanctions relief from the European Union.
“Under the [final deal], the administration has permitted the EU to delist the IRGC sanctioned entities,” Ghasseminejad said. “The sanctions relief means that the IRGC’s financial empire will have access to the global financial markets and can trade with the European based companies.”
“This means more financial resources for the IRGC, which instantly will be used to fund terrorism around the world, opposing the U.S. and its allies, and oppressing the Iranian people,” he said. “By delisting the IRGC, the P5+1 is helping the Islamist terrorists to achieve their goal.”
The IRGC is intimately tied to Iran’s economy via a series of companies and front organizations that primarily answer to the military force. The IRGC controls at least one-sixth of the Iranian economy, according to FDD.
“The nuclear agreement will grant the foundation—through the general improvement in Iran’s economy and foreign direct investment—additional resources to expand its portfolio, and to invest in industrial assets and financial instruments overseas,” according to FDD.
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