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Containing Iran Should Start With Blacklisting the Revolutionary Guards

The Obama administration provided a period described by an Iranian regime figure as the “golden era”, and Tehran took advantage to extend its foothold across the Middle East. The status quo in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon are undeniable proof in this regard. Wrote Heshmat Alavi in the ‘Daily Caller’ on February 9, 2017, the article continues as follows.

As a new team takes the helm in Washington, recent signs indicate the road ahead for Iran will be a major challenge. The Trump White House, less than a month in action, has proven to the mullahs the deep contrast in respects to its Middle East doctrine, and especially, in comparison to its predecessor’s failed appeasement policy.

U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn lashed back at Iran’s January 29th ballistic missile test launch with an “on notice” warning, followed by new sanctions, placing 25 Iranian individuals and entities with ties to Tehran’s ballistic missile program in its crosshairs. This made it crystal clear the U.S.-Iran policy had undergone a major overhaul.

Tehran’s missile launch was a testing of the new U.S. administration. Yet this gamble backfired when President Trump and his team reacted with a series of measures, informing the mullahs how their variety of adventuristic measures–including a suicide boat attack against a Saudi frigate conducted by Iran-supported Houthis in Yemen–will no longer go tolerated.

Senior Iranian regime officials are seriously concerned as President Trump’s tweets made it crystal clear the end of Obama’s “kind” attitude. Defense Secretary James Mattis added insult to injury by describing the mullahs’ regime as “the biggest state sponsor of terrorism.”

Such a tough tone adopted by the new White House can lead us to conclude that Tehran chose to back-off from a second ballistic missile test planned for as early as Friday, February 3rd, involving a missile design consisting of components similar to that of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Interestingly, while Europeans are not famous for any tough talk, especially regarding Iran, they have chosen to react in line this time around.

Iran’s ballistic missile tests “give reason for serious concern” and are considered incompatible with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, according to the German Foreign Ministry.

Taking into notice Iran’s 35-year history of engulfing the entire Middle East into horrific turmoil, the appropriate response only lies in a tough approach. And this does not spell launching another U.S.-led war in the region.

Iran took advantage of the spiritless Obama Middle East doctrine to inflict and spread its lethal disease, consisting of a deadly involvement in Syria, establishing and backing Shiite proxies in Iraq, the Houthis in Yemen and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Former senior Iranian foreign ministry official Hossein Mousavian, a significant figure in the Iran nuclear talks, recently wrote, “During the Obama years I openly said and wrote the Obama-Biden-Kerry-Moniz line-up is an opportunity for Iran.”

Despite the Iran nuclear deal curbing the mullahs’ nuclear drive to some extent, Tehran misused the Obama tenure to pursue its treacherous ballistic missile program.

Now, the mullahs are most definitely weighing the Trump administration’s strong response and evaluating their next move after such drastic setbacks.

“It’s a sign that for Iran, the days of wine and roses—and blind-eye treatment—are over. And perhaps an even more welcome sign that tough talk, combined with tough action, really does work,” according to The New York Post Editorial Board.

To add to Iran’s nightmares, the Trump administration is now considering the option of designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.

Considering the IRGC’s leading role in Iran’s nuclear program, ballistic missile drive, foreign military intervention and domestic crackdown, this is the next step in hammering nails in the mullahs’ coffin.

For years now the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has been advocating such an initiative, pinpointing the fact that Iran’s major policies are pursued through the IRGC.

The NCRI is a coalition of a slate of dissident groups, especially the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and has welcomed Washington’s new sanctions against Tehran.

“Banning all deals and trade with IRGC-affiliated companies” are measures proposed by NCRI President Maryam Rajavi, a charismatic leader who has devoted her life struggle to establishing a free and democratic Iran based on a 10-point-plan.

If the Trump administration is seeking a silver-bullet to bring an end to Iran’s belligerence not only in the Middle East but across the globe, the first step in such a roadmap is to blacklist the IRGC.

This message will be damning for the mullahs, and the Iranian people will quickly realize that America, under its new administration, stands with them shoulder to shoulder in their effort to realize their ambitions of a democratic and prosperous Iran.

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