Monday April 24, 2017

Not Designating Iran's IRGC for Terrorism 'Would Hold American Policy Hostage'

The Trump administration is considering calls for the IRGC to be designated a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) under U.S. law.

Mark Dubowitz, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) executive director and Iran expert, in written testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the IRGC could be designated under executive order 13224, a post-9/11 tool designed to disrupt funding to terrorists. “Congress should reject the argument that this designation will provoke the IRGC to threaten or commit violence,” he said. “To do so would hold American policy hostage.”


Iran: General Warns US to Leave the Region

Iranian Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan said on Thursday that the United States is an unwelcome intruder in the Middle East and warned that it needs to leave the region immediately. 

According to numerous state media outlets, Dehghan, the Minister of Defence of Iran, said: “What is the U.S. doing in the Persian Gulf? They better leave this region and not harass the regional countries.”


Iran: IRGC Funding to Be Increased

The Iranian parliament has voted for a large increase in funding for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Politicians have also voted for an increase in funding for the country’s missile development program. 

Iranian state media confirmed that two military bills were approved. The first one provides $7.4 billion to the IRGC’s defence budget – an increase of almost 25 percent. The other bill outlined a development plan for the next five years regarding the country’s missile program. It requires the government to guarantee a minimum of 5 percent of the budget to defence.


Campaign to Force Iran out of Syria

An internet campaign has been set up with the aim of getting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to leave Syria. It was set up by activists from both Syria and Iran.

Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Iran has been involved. Over the years its involvement has increased as the opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad got stronger. When Iran realised that there was a chance that Assad could be overthrown, it started to send in large numbers of troops to prop the Syrian president up.


Iran Supporting and Arming Bahraini Militants

In September 2015, a bomb-making facility was discovered in a warehouse in Bahrain. Officers found chemical precursors and military-grade explosives. 

They found armour-piercing projectiles that could slice its way through a tank and there were a large number of boxes of C-4 (military explosive). 

Investigators in the country said that items like this had never been seen before there. In a report about the arsenals seized, investigators said that the firepower and caches found were a “game-changer”. The investigators also said that up against lightly armed police, the amount of arms seized was “overkill”.


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