Iranian officials and state-run media have reacted with shock and anger at the US decision to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), the National Council of Resistance of Iran reported.
Amir-Ali Abolfath, a regime analyst, said that this would bring all IRGC forces, basis, and infrastructure, including those in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere, under threat from the US. This is true because the objective is to wipe out terrorist entities, especially when they have wormed their way into a foreign war.
But why are the mullahs so upset by the extremely warranted designation?
Well some, like former Iranian regime envoy to China Ali Khorram, feel that the designation will increase the chances of social unrest in Iran, especially after the overwhelming nationwide protests that Iran has seen over the past year because of the dire economic state, including inflation, unemployment, and shortage of goods and services. These protests quickly became about political demands and the mullahs fear this could easily happen again and lead to regime change.
Khorram said: “Even if the social problems we are facing result in only economic complaints, it would be foreseeable to consider that the protesters accuse the government the main responsible party for their problems.”
Given the sheer amount of the economy controlled by the IRGC, this is not surprising. It could well damage the economy and cause protests. Of course, economic problems are far from the only reason that the Iranian people have issue with the Regime.
Indeed, the Iranian people have spent over three weeks besieged by floods with the mullahs doing little if anything to help. The IRGC arrived to save their business interests and suppress protests rather than distribute aid or save lives.
This has spurred understandable protest and the Regime responded with violence, even having the IRGC shoot dead one protester and wound several others for the sole crime of trying to prevent the IRGC removing flood barriers erected by the people.
Of course, the real reason that the Regime is terrified on the IRGC designation is because the suppressive security force is an essential tool for the mullahs’ twin campaigns of internal repression and export of terrorism.
The Iranian Resistance wrote: “This tool has been essential in prolonging the miserable life of the regime… Considering the importance of the role of the IRGC in securing and prolonging the shameful life of the Velayat-e Fagih, the FTO designation would be like “[pouring] water into the ant’s nest” causing fear and concern amongst government officials.”