[On Thursday, the U.S. military in Iraq reported the death of three IRGC
officers in Baghdad. A military statement said the officers were killed
during a successful U.S. raid to detain a senior member of the IRGC's Quds
Officials said President George Bush plans to designate IRGC a terrorist
group under Executive Order 13224. The measure, enacted in wake of the Al
Qaida suicide air attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, allows the
U.S. government to obstruct funding to individuals, businesses, charities
and extremist groups deemed terrorist.
"We take unilateral actions where we can under a number of executive
orders and laws that are on the books right now," State Department spokesman
Scott McCormack, who refused to confirm plans to sanction IRGC, said on
Wednesday. "You raise the cost to them in their ability to carry out these
Under the administration plan, the United States could eventually
sanction Western companies and governments that deal with IRGC. IRGC was
believed to have
established numerous fronts in Western Europe and Asia to procure dual-use
and military components.
Officials said the administration decision ended a debate over whether
to sanction IRGC rather than only its Quds Force. Quds Force has been
identified as the foreign intelligence arm of IRGC and responsible for
liasion with and
aid to such groups as Fatah, Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad and Mahdi Army.
IRGC contains its own army, navy and air force. The corps has been
responsible for strategic weapons development and deployment, including the
Shihab-3 ballistic missile, with a range of 2,000 kilometers.
Congress has been pressing the administration to expand sanctions on
Iran. Over the next few months, the House and Senate were expected to vote
on the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, which would target individuals and
help Iran's weapons and energy programs.