President Trump Administration of US has announced its intent to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Quds Force, as a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) in accordance with Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The designation is expected to take effect from April 15.

The designation as FTO will impose sweeping economic and travel sanctions on the IRGC and on organisations, companies, and individuals that have links to it.

IRGC and Quds Force

IRGC is an ideologically-driven branch of the armed forces of Iran set up in 1979 after Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution to protect the newly established Islamic system from hostile foreign powers and internal dissensions. Quds Force or Qods Corps is an elite wing of the IRGC.

Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO)

Under Section 219 of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act, the Secretary of State is authorised to designate an organization as a foreign terrorist organization. If the Secretary finds that

  • The organization is a foreign organization.
  • The organization engages in terrorist activity or terrorism.
  • Threatens the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States.

The designation of IRGC as an FTO highlights that IRGC is an outlaw regime that uses terrorism as a key tool of statecraft.

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