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Last week, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would impose sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), in addition to the nuclear sanctions he’s reimposed on Iran since announcing the withdrawal from the nuclear deal last May.
In the announcement, Trump explained:
Designation - Time - United - States - Part
This designation will be the first time that the United States has ever named a part of another government as a FTO. It underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments. This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime. It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.
The message to Iran, the president said, is “that its support for terrorism has serious consequences.”
IRGC - % - Iran - Economy - CNBC
The IRGC is estimated to control roughly 20% of Iran’s economy, CNBC reported. Because the IRGC is so embedded in the Iranian economy, businesses not wanting to run afoul of these new sanctions will have to be extra careful when partnering with Iranian firms to ensure it isn’t a front company for the IRGC.
According to CNBC, “Iran’s economy shrunk by 1.5% last year and is expected to contract by 3.6% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, compared to 3.8% growth in 2017.”
Sanctions - Iran - Ability - Middle - East
So the additional sanctions will further restrict Iran’s ability to destabilize the Middle East.
One of the things that the Obama administration assured us was that Iran would spend most of its sanctions relief on rebuilding its economy. In a 2015 speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that “[A]s a result, Iran is expected to use new revenues chiefly to address those needs, including...
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