Anti-IRGC Bill a Great Risk for US

Iran’s missile power is not subject to compromise and is not negotiable at any level 
Mohammad BaqeriMohammad Baqeri
The congressional measure seeks to impose sanctions on the IRGC for allegedly conducting destabilizing activities in the region

A top Iranian commander warned Washington that a new US Senate sanctions bill targeting the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps to curb its missile activities would pose a serious challenge to the US presence in the Middle East.

"Grouping the IRGC with terrorists and subjecting it to similar sanctions will constitute a great risk to Americans and their bases and troops in the region," Chairman of the General Staff of Armed Forces Mohammad Baqeri told a gathering of top IRGC brass in Tehran on Monday, Fars News Agency reported.

The commander was referring to a measure passed overwhelmingly by the US Senate last month to slap fresh penalties on the Islamic Republic to punish it for ballistic missile launches and alleged terrorism sponsorship and human rights abuses.

It has yet to get through the House of Representatives and be signed by US President Donald Trump to become law.

The measure emphasizes that the entire IRGC, "not just the IRGC's Qods Force", is responsible for allegedly conducting destabilizing activities, supporting terrorism and developing Iran's disputed ballistic missile program, a language that would have the practical effect of designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist group.

It adds to the sanctions the US has already imposed on the IRGC and individuals and entities linked to it.

The bill directs the US president to impose financial sanctions and a travel ban on individuals and entities who "knowingly engage in any activity that materially contributes to the activities of the government of Iran with respect to its ballistic missile program".

***No Compromise on Missiles

Baqeri reasserted the defensive nature of Iran's missile development and said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran's missile power is not subject to compromise and is not negotiable at any level."

The Iran nuclear deal, concluded in July 2015, was meant to settle a 12-year dispute with western powers alleging that Tehran seeks to develop nuclear weapons, despite the denial of the International Atomic Energy Agency that regularly monitors Iran's nuclear activities.

Since the accord went into force in January 2016, those powers have frequently accused the Islamic Republic of violating a deal-related UN resolution by boosting its missile capabilities.

Under Resolution 2231, which was adopted on July 20, 2015, to endorse the historic accord, Iran is "called upon" not to undertake any activity related to missiles "designed to be capable of" delivering nuclear weapons.

Iran says it is not involved in any such missile work and has no such warheads.


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