It appears that we are moving one step closer to a war with Iran. While Karzai and Maliki are trying to set up relations with their neighbor Iran, Bush is adding fuel to the war fire. This will be the first time this type of action will be taken against a foreign government entity.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. government is involved in intense discussions over naming all or part of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group in a move that would effectively declare “open season” on the organization, a senior official told CNN.
If made, the designation would come in the form of an executive order from President George W. Bush, the State Department official said.
Such a move would allow the Treasury Department to go after the finances of the group and those who do business with it.
“It would basically declare open season on these guys,” the official said, adding that the move is being taken because of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps‘ (IRGC) support for “all the bad actors” — insurgents in Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan and other terrorist groups in the Middle East like Hezbollah and Hamas.
The move is “three-fourths done but the devil is in the details,” the official said. An internal decision has been made to take some action, but there is still debate on whether to designate the entire IRGC or just the elite Quds Force.
“We need to decide whether to go for the sledgehammer approach of the larger group or the laser method of just going after the Quds Force,” the official said.
Asked to comment on the reports that the Guard Corps may be named a terrorist group, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe would only say:
“It’s not appropriate for us to discuss potential future actions. We continue to urge Iran to play a constructive role in the region, and to stop providing support to terrorist organizations.”
Although most in the administration wants to go for the whole group, some want to tone it down a bit to soften the anticipated criticism from European allies, the official said.
For months, U.S. officials have contended that Iranian agents, from the Quds Force, are helping train and equip militants in Iraq and have been supplying armor-piercing explosively formed penetrators to insurgents that have been used against U.S. forces. Iran has denied these assertions.
The discussions come amid increased pressure by Congress to take tougher measures against Iran, including a possible divestment campaign. According to the official, the move by the administration could blunt any action in Congress which might tie the administration’s hands.