Within the international community, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is seen as an extension of the fundamentalism that the #Iranian regime wants to spread beyond its borders. The IRGC has been targeted by the #U.S., with it being added to the list of terrorist organizations, as well as rhetoric about its military activities stepping into terrorism throughout the region.
However, the latest U.S. action has been taken by the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel introduced H.R. 5132, a bill meant to crack down on the IRGC. The bill has several facets, but the key part is that the bill authorizes the administration to #sanction entities in which the IRGC has an ownership stake of less than 50%.
Impact of the Bill
This not raises the stakes for those who are doing business with the IRGC, it can have a significant impact on the #Iran economy. The IRGC has a significant hold on the Iranian economy, and with its control, there has been little of the trickle-down effect with the lifting of various sanctions as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement.
This new bill is an attempt to weaken the IRGC by reducing its income and by default, weakening its hold on the Iranian economy.
“As Iran’s most powerful economic actor, the Revolutionary Guards Corps bankrolls terror and Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program. Yet hundreds of its front companies have yet to be sanctioned. This bipartisan bill will close that gap. It will cut off cash to a terrorist group that has the blood of hundreds of Americans, and countless Syrians, on its hands,” said Royce.
How is it going to work?
The bill in particular does the following:
- Expands mandatory sanctions against the IRGC for its role in shoring up Assad’s regime in #Syria
- Opposes Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization, at least as long as Iran is on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism
- Requires reports on the influence of the IRGC on the Iranian economy, and information on its enterprises that facilitate terrorism
- Strengthen bans on transactions, not only with the IRGC, but also with its affiliates
From an economic standpoint, the IRGC hides behind shell companies, but is clearly in control. This bill requires companies to know who they are doing business with, which means going beyond the shell companies to address the actions of the IRGC itself.
“The IRGC is the driver of Iran’s dangerous presence in Syria. Alongside Putin, the IRGC has worked with the genocidal Assad regime-which has killed more than half a million of its own citizens. This bill goes after the IRGC’s front companies which are the financial lifeline of the most extreme elements in Iran. It marginalizes the influence of Iran’s hardliners without undermining U.S. commitments under the nuclear deal,” said Engel.
With this bill, the U.S. Congress is attempting to hold the IRGC accountable for its actions, not only in Syria, but throughout the region.