By Shahriar Kia
When the US designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) last week, it was a major milestone for the Iranian Regime and now the different factions of the Regime have a new angle to deal with international issues, like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Now the debates over these matters have reached a new level.
Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, the head of the Parliament’s security committee, criticized the EU’s approach toward the FATF bills, which Iran has been asked to ratify, complaining that European countries offer “hopeful gestures” rather than “tangible result[s]”, but failed to see how Iran could escape the sanctions without Europe’s help.
Earlier this month, the French ambassador to the US spoke about a potential compromise between the EU and the US over the JCPOA, which could include adding Iran’s missile program and regional meddling. This drew expected, but naïve comments from Iran with Iran foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi claimed that this dialogue was only designed to increase the pressure on the Iranian Regime.
It also prompted infighting amongst the factions, which have become the new crisis threatening the future of the regime.
Meanwhile, the mullahs were also deeply frightened over the IRGC terrorist designation, with MP Mahmoud Sadeghi noting that this, combined with Europe’s lack of help mean there is no benefit for Iran to remain in the JCPOA. While MP Abtahi said that the JCPOA was clearly flawed because it allows the US to complain about Iran’s behaviour, although he failed to note that the US wouldn’t be able to complain if Iran abided by the deal.
However, Abdorreza Faraji-rad, former Iranian ambassador to Norway, said that the Regime should cling to the JCPOA life raft no matter what.
He said: “We must not act in a way that even Moscow and Beijing would be left in cold in trying to support us. Therefore, the JCPOA has now broken the ring between EU, Russia, and China, on one hand, and Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United State on the other, and looking at it from this angle is in our interest. And despite the lack of the economic benefit of the JCPOA, it must be said that exiting the JCPOA for us is ill-advised. And therefore we must stay in JCPOA for as long as it takes.”
The IRGC terrorist designation has sent a blow to the Regime and now the mullahs are spiralling, unsure what to do.