New Sanctions Against Iran
The Bush Administration through Condi Rice today announced a new set of economic sanctions against Iran for supporting terrorist activities through its Quds Force, the foreign wing of the Revolutionary Guard, and for the Guard as a whole for maintaining a ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction program. The sanctions were announced under the authority of executive orders dealing with the funding of countries or elements of countries that have WMD programs and support terrorism, but not under an authorization to use force.
The administration will designate the entire Revolutionary Guard under Executive Order 13382, signed by President Bush in June 2005, which allows the United States to freeze the assets of any proliferator of weapons of mass destruction and its supporters. Iran is being designated for its ballistic missile program. The United States will announce a list of Iranians involved in that program -- civilians as well as military officials -- who will also be designated, U.S. officials said.
Under the same executive order, the administration also intends to designate Iran's Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, which controls Iran's defense industries, as well as companies owned or controlled by the Revolutionary Guard, U.S. officials said.
The overall impact, according to U.S. officials, will be to make a pariah of the most critical parts of Iran's military and its defense and commercial industries.
The Quds Force, the foreign operations branch of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, will be designated separately as a supporter of terrorism under Executive Order 13224, which Bush signed two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to obstruct terrorist funding, U.S. officials said. It authorizes the United States to identify individuals, businesses, charities and extremist groups engaged in terrorism.
The administration did not go so far as to designate the entire Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, as the Kyl-Lieberman resolution did, because there was disagreement within the Bush Administration and our allies on this issue. So Hillary is now on record with Lieberman and other pro-war senators as being to the right of the Bush Administration.
As the stories indicate, there will be little direct impact upon Iran from these sanctions because of our minimal economic activity with them now. But the sanctions are aimed at pressuring the Iranians to come to the table, and our allies to be with us or against us in isolating Iran and addressing what the Quds Force is doing. In both cases, if we have the evidence to support the sanctions, then now is the time to present that evidence to the world community. This administration gets no mulligans.