• Mon / 22 April 2019 / 16:14
  • Category: Politics
  • News Code: 98020200821
  • Journalist : 71593

U.S. carves out exceptions for foreigners dealing with IRGC

U.S. carves out exceptions for foreigners dealing with IRGC

Tehran (ISNA) - The United States has largely carved out exceptions so that foreign governments, firms and NGOs do not automatically face U.S. sanctions for dealing with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards after the group’s designation by Washington as a foreign terrorist group, according to three current and three former U.S. officials.

The exemptions, granted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and described by a State Department spokesman in response to questions from Reuters, mean officials from countries such as Iraq who may have dealings with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, would not necessarily be denied U.S. visas.

The exceptions to U.S. sanctions would also permit foreign executives who do business in Iran, where the IRGC is a major economic force, as well as humanitarian groups working in regions such as northern Syria, Iraq and Yemen, to do so without fear they will automatically trigger U.S. laws on dealing with a foreign terrorist group.

However, the U.S. government also created an exception to the carve-out, retaining the right to sanction any individual in a foreign government, company or NGO who themselves provides “material support” to a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO).

According to Reuters, the move is the latest in which the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has staked out a hardline position on Iran, insisting for example that Iran’s oil customers cut their imports of Iranian petroleum to zero, only to grant waivers allowing them keep buying it.

Pompeo designated the IRGC as an FTO on April 15, creating a problem for foreigners who deal with it and its companies, and for U.S. diplomats and military officers in Iraq and Syria, whose interlocutors may work with the IRGC.

The move - the first time the United States had formally labeled part of another sovereign government as a terrorist group - created confusion among U.S. officials who initially had no guidance on how to proceed and on whether they were still allowed to deal with such interlocutors, three U.S. officials said.

American officials have long said they fear the designation could endanger U.S. forces in places such as Syria or Iraq, where they may operate in close proximity to IRGC-allied groups.

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