“The United States has decided to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s 125,000-strong elite military branch, as a ’specially designated global terrorist,’ according to U.S. officials, a move that allows Washington to target the group’s business operations and finances.”
So with this scribble of the pen, the US grants itself the right to set economic sanctions not against the whole of Iran (yet), but just against the Revolutionary Guard. I’m no expert on the Guard, but my understanding is that they are sort of a combination parallel Iranian army, border patrol, FBI, and secret police. Good guys they’re not. However, they are so intertwined with important aspects of Iranian society, any attempt to strangle them financially seems destined to anger and destablize large chunks of Iran. And while the American neocons seem to think that threatening a corrupt dictatorship means that the people will rise against their government and replace it with a new, US-friendly regime, it usually means that the people will get scared and throw their support behind the corrupt dictatorship.
Also, the US frequently uses economic sanctions not as a means of persuading other nations to change their behavior, but as a PR move to clear the path for war. “See, we tried all the peaceful methods of resolving this, and they didn’t work. Airstrikes ho!”
So, in conclusion, things ain’t good.
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