“US brands Iran Guard ‘terrorist organisation’,” from Agence France-Presse:
WASHINGTON “” The US Senate has called for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to be officially designated a “foreign terrorist organisation,” a day after the House of Representatives passed a similar measure.
The Senate on Wednesday voted 76-22 for the non-binding amendment sponsored by Republican Jon Kyl and independent Joseph Lieberman to place the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or Pasdaran, on the US terrorist blacklist.
A list of who voted for and against the amendment can be found here.
Such a designation if adopted by the US government would open the corps and affiliated companies to economic sanctions.
The measure is a “sense of the Senate” amendment, which means it cannot impact the president’s foreign policy, but is an important symbolic measure expressing will of
It says that senators agree it is in the critical national interest of the United States to prevent Iran turning Shia extremists in Iraq into a “Hezbollah type force.”
The amendment says that senators believe that “inside Iraq” US economic, military, diplomatic economic and intelligence “instruments” should be used to back US policy against the government of Iran and “its proxies.”
During a debate among Democratic presidential hopefuls on Wednesday night, the
amendment was criticized as helping lay the foundation for President George W. Bush to take possible military action against Teheran.
Any military action at all? Including strikes on Iran’s nuclear “power” industry?
“I have no intention of giving George Bush the authority to take the first step on a road to war with Iran,” said former senator and presidential hopeful John Edwards at the debate at Dartmouth College.
Long-shot candidate Mike Gravel blasted front-runner Senator Hillary Clinton for supporting the amendment. “And I am ashamed of you, Hillary, for voting for it.”
Clinton defended her vote, saying by designating the Revolutionary Guard as a
terrorist organisation “gives us the options to be able to impose sanctions on the primary leaders to try to begin to put some teeth into all this talk about dealing with Iran.”
The Bush administration said in August it would designate all or part of the Guard as a terrorist organisation.
Iran’s reaction: “Iran condemns US move to brand Guards ‘terrorist’,” from Reuters:
TEHERAN – Iran has said any US move to brand its elite Revolutionary Guards a
foreign terrorist organisation would be illegal and amount to a confrontation with the entire Islamic Republic.
The House of Representatives approved a bill on Tuesday mandating sanctions on foreign energy companies doing business with Iran and urging the US government to brand the Guards “terrorist”.
INSA news agency carried a foreign ministry statement late on Wednesday branding any such move irresponsible and illegal.
“Any confrontation with this humane force is a confrontation with the great nation of Iran and those who are after accusing the Guards are in fact putting themselves in front of a nation of 70 million people,” spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said.
A month ago, there were plans within the US administration to label the entire Guards Corps a foreign terrorist group — the first time the United States would place the armed forces of any sovereign government on such a list.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Reuters in New York on Monday the United States was considering sanctions against the Guard’s Qods unit, enabling Washington to target its financing.
The Qods force is a special unit of the Revolutionary Guard Corps and considered the most elite unit. There are varying estimates of its strength but it is in charge of Teheran’s support for groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.