Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Top US official: IRGC terror designation meant to 'make it radioactive'

Yonah Jeremy Bob, The Jerusalem Post, April 16, 2019

Ambassador Sales inspects Hamas tunnels 8 meters deep under the Israel Gaza border
Image from article, with caption:Ambassador Sales inspects Hamas tunnels 8 meters deep under the Israel Gaza border. (photo credit: KEVIN TIERNEY)

The broad goal of the US’s designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group was to “make it radioactive,” US counter-terrorism state department official Nathan Sales told a closed press meeting late Sunday.

The recent designation was the first time the US has ever designated part of a state entity as a terrorist group and was praised by Israel, but led to escalating tensions and threats between the US and Iran.

Going into greater detail about ... areas where he said the designation would help counter-terrorism objectives, Sales noted the importance of public diplomacy [JB emphasis]. 

He said that “the unprecedented step” of designating an Iranian state entity as a terrorist group “makes it unique in the nations of the world.” ...

The counter-terrorism official added that the fact that Hezbollah has been on a public fund-raising spree in recent months signals that the US sanctions on Iran are having an impact – even forcing it to reduce its funding of its top proxy Hezbollah. ...

Disputing some of the characterizations of the Trump administration as making sudden radical foreign policy changes without fully considering the issues, he said that the IRGC designation came only after an extensive interagency consultation process. ...

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