US plans sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

The Obama administration is working on a series of sanctions that would take aim at the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran, publicly singling out the organization’s vast array of companies, banks and other entities in an effort to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, the New York Times reports.

Senior White House officials described what they said would be a “systematic” effort to drive a wedge between the Iranian population and the Revolutionary Guards, which the West says is responsible for running Iran’s nuclear program and has a record of supporting militant Islamist organizations and cracking down on antigovernment protesters.

In putting together a United Nations Security Council resolution that names specific companies and the wide web of assets owned by the Guards, which include even the Tehran airport, the administration is hoping to substantially increase pressure on the organization, the report adds

“We have bent over backwards to say to the Islamic Republic of Iran that we are willing to have a constructive conversation about how they can align themselves with international norms and rules and re-enter as full members of the international community,” President Obama said in a news conference on Tuesday. “They have made their choice so far.”

The United States, Mr. Obama said, will be working on “developing a significant regime of sanctions that will indicate to them how isolated they are from the international community as a whole.”

The goal would be to increase the cost for those who do business with Iran so much that they would cut off ties.

Previous resolutions have designated a handful of senior figures in the Iranian nuclear program, including the man believed to run much of the military research program for the Revolutionary Guards. But the administration’s latest push would name dozens, if not hundreds, of companies, the New York Times said.

The US hopes to rope in Russia and China, which have extensive business interests in Iran, by invoking their national interests, to make the new sanctions regime effective.