By Mahmoud Hakamian
The Iranian regime presents a great threat to peace and security in the Middle East. And even beyond when we consider its activities across the world.
Since the 1979 Revolution, the regime has been belligerent, with certain periods throughout the last few decades being quieter than others.
The notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which was justly black listed by the U.S. today has a dark history. It has overtly threatened the United States and has carried out a number of terrorist attacks. One attack during the eighties in Lebanon killed hundreds of U.S. servicemen and injured even more. In October 1983, a vehicle laden with explosives exploded after forcing its way into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.
The IRGC ensures that the regime’s export of terrorism is prioritised. Its Qods Force is the specific extraterritorial arm that deals with operations abroad. It has been heavily intervening in conflicts in the Middle East.
The IRGC is also tasked with internal affairs, in particular the suppression of the people of Iran. It is instrumental for the regime in ensuring that dissent is quashed before it becomes a threat. Something that it has failed to do in recent times because the dissent is so high.
Furthermore, the IRGC is in charge of the training of fighters – both inside and outside of Iran. It has a number of training facilities in Iran where foreign fighters come across for training. They then get sent out to other countries to fight on Iran’s behalf. The IRGC is thus able to carry out and coordinate terrorist attacks abroad.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, while welcoming the blacklisting, described the inclusion of the suppressive Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) as a long-standing and righteous demand of the Iranian Resistance, an imperative for Middle East security, peace, and stability, and an urgent and necessary step to end war and terrorism throughout the region and the world.
“This action, which was long overdue, should now be completed by designating the Iranian Regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS),” Mrs. Rajavi added.
The MOIS has also been involved in similar incidences. The agency carries out a number of illicit activities around the world. It has specifically targeted members of the Iranian opposition that are living abroad.
A former minister of intelligence confirmed a few years ago that the MOIS puts agents abroad, in particular the United States, to gather information. He said that they often pose as journalists in the country in which they are posted.
The United States has already classed both the MOIS and the IRGC as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT). However, there are calls for the U.S. government to go one step further and after classifying IRGC, does the same with MOIS as Foreign Terrorist Organizatios (FTO).
The Iranian regime’s threat is increasing and it is spreading further. Last year alone there was a significant increase in the amount of terrorist activity instigated by Iran in Europe. The attacks and assassinations were thankfully foiled before anything serious happened and a number of arrests were made, but had the attacks gone ahead, there would have likely been a large amount of casualties and fatalities.
There is no reason why the MOIS should not be classed as FTO too. it meets the criteria and it has done for a long time. The threat has existed for a long time and, instead of decreasing, it is sharply increasing.