On Monday, President Donald Trump formally designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). This designation will do nothing to limit the IRGC’s malign activities, but it may criminalize the activities of millions of Iranians and foreign tourists — and set a precedent that Washington may come to regret.
According to the White House statement, this is the first time that the US has designated a unit of a foreign government as a “terrorist organization.” In response, Tehran has already designatedUS Central Command as a terrorist organization. And it’s not hard to imagine other adversarial governments designating American individuals or military units as “terrorists” for political reasons. […]
Inside Iran, it is difficult to avoid doing business with the IRGC, IRGC-controlled or IRGC-linked entities. The White House’s Monday statement says that, “If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.” Does this apply to a produce vendor who rents his stall from an IRGC-linked bonyad (a cross between a charitable foundation and a private equity fund)? What about the vendors’ customers, who might be Iranian locals or foreign tourists? Are all visitors to Iran now responsible for determining the precise ownership of every hotel, restaurant and store that they patronize? Läs artikel