Archive for August 15th, 2007

The White House is keeping this quiet – can’t imagine why…….

WASHINGTON – The United States has decided to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s 125,000-strong military branch, as a “specially designated global terrorist,” according to U.S. officials, a move that would enable Washington to target the group’s business operations and finances.

The Bush administration has chosen to move against the Revolutionary Guard Corps because of what U.S. officials describe as the group’s growing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as its support for extremists throughout the Middle East, sources said. The decision follows congressional pressure for a tougher stance against Tehran as well as U.S. frustration with the ineffectiveness of United Nations resolutions against Iran’s nuclear program, officials said.

The sources said the designation of the Revolutionary Guard would be made under Executive Order 13224, which President Bush signed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to obstruct terrorist funding. It identifies individuals, businesses, charities and many extremist groups engaged in terrorist activities. The Revolutionary Guard would be the first national military branch included on the list, U.S. officials said — an unusual move because it is part of a government rather than a non-state terrorist group.

The order allows the United States to block the assets of terrorists and to disrupt operations by foreign businesses that “provide support, services or assistance to, or otherwise associate with, terrorists.”

The move reflects the escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran over issues including the Iraq war and Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Iran has been on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1984, but in May the two countries began their first formal one-on-one dialogue in 28 years.

The main goal of the new designation is to clamp down on the Revolutionary Guard’s vast business network, as well as on foreign businesses linked to the military unit and its personnel.

“Anyone doing business with these people will have to re-evaluate their actions immediately,” said a U.S. official familiar with the plan who requested anonymity because the decision hasn’t been announced.

For weeks, the Bush administration has been debating whether to target the Revolutionary Guard Corps in full, or only its Quds Force wing, which U.S. officials have linked to the flow of explosives, roadside bombs, rockets and other arms to Shiite militias in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Although administration discussions are ongoing, the initial decision is to target the entire Guard Corps, U.S. officials said. The administration has not yet decided when to announce the new measure.

From The Chicago Tribune

This is NOT an endorsement of Hillary Clinton – we just think you should see the ad that has the White House so upset: