FTO Designation of IRGC Weakens Pillars of Clerical Dictatorship in Iran

Last Monday, the US announced it designated the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). This designation was a major blow to the theocratic regime by limiting its future actions. IRGC is the main apparatus of repression of the Iranian people, especially Iranian women, the primary driver of war and export of terrorism, and is responsible for pursuing nuclear weapons and missile projects.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, described the inclusion of the suppressive Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) as a long-standing and righteous demand of the Iranian Resistance. It is also imperative for Middle East security, peace, and stability, and an urgent and necessary step to end war and terrorism throughout the region and the world.

She pointed out what the perpetrators of the “moderation myth in Iran” refuse to acknowledge, “Policy of appeasement has provided so much financing and freedom of action to the mullahs and the Revolutionary Guards over the past decades.”

‘Words of support’ for tortured and incarcerated Iran protesters, religious and ethnic minorities, human rights and women’s rights defenders in Iran, and condolences to families of executed political prisoners were meaningless while the policy of appeasement was in effect. International deals made with the mullahs and their agents were made at the expense of the blood of the Iranian people.

Crimes by the mullahs and the IRGC against the Iranian people were largely unreported by mainstream media. Here are some examples of news we have reported on how the IRGCs actions have harmed the Iranian people, and even more greatly, Iranian women.

iranian women and FTO designation of IRGC.
Iranian women
  1. The IRGC has been an instrument against Iranian women activists, and Iranian women following a different faith and has led operations for arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances, torture, long imprisonment, and execution of political prisoners.

– Even Iranian youth are not spared by the IRGC from its brutal interrogation.

  • A 15-year-old student, Ma’edeh Shabani-Nejad, was arrested in January 2018 and detained under interrogation in Sepidar Prison of Ahwaz, for over three months in an undetermined state. Ma’edeh wrote nationalistic and epical poetry in Arabic and published them on social media. She was arrested at her uncle’s house in Ahwaz on January 25, 2018, by the IRGC’s Department of Intelligence. Some of her family members and relatives were also arrested for helping the 15-year-old girl. Ma’edeh suffered GI bleeding in prison.
  • Sociologist and women’s rights activist, Najmeh Vahedi, was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Intelligence Organization on September 1, 2018. No information has been disclosed on her charges or whereabouts even after 11 days of arrest.
  • Kurdish civil rights and environmental activist, Soheila Mohammadi, was summoned by the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, for ‘disrupting public order.’
  • IRGC arrested human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh for defending protesters against the compulsory veil. Under the mullahs’ velayat-e-faqih, there are no checks and balances in government, and the judiciary only puts a stamp on the actions of the IRGC. As explained by Nasrin Sotoudeh, “For years, the Judiciary has openly and clearly sided with and supported the security powers including the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). And contrary to all principles regarding the need for independence of this branch, it has implemented the orders issued by the said powers …”
  • Mrs. Dayeh Sharifeh, the mother of executed political prisoner Ramin Hossein Panahi, challenged the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ for bringing false charges against her son: “Since the first day when Ramin was arrested, we demanded that his trial be open. Ramin is absolutely innocent. He has never been armed at any time. He had come to Sanandaj just to visit me. Now if the Justice Ministry is telling the truth, they should also disseminate what Ramin and I have said. They must prove that Ramin was armed. These false charges have been leveled by the IRGC to cover up their own crimes by sending Ramin to the gallows.”
  • Environmental activist Niloufar Bayani announced that she had been beaten and brutalized, threatened and tortured on numerous occasions by the Revolutionary Guards agents during her year-long detention in an IRGC jail, and was forced to make false confessions against herself. She made the testimony during her second trial session on Saturday, February 2, 2019.
  • Atena Daemi was arrested at her home on Tuesday, October 15, 2014. The charges raised against this civil activist are assembly and collusion against the state, insulting the “leader” and sanctities, opposing mandatory hijab and opposing executions. Atena sent a letter out of prison announcing her abhorrence towards the IRGC and said, “As an Iranian, I announce that not only I’m not an IRGC member, but I’m incarcerated because of IRGC’s crimes.”
  1. IRGC and their relatives have committed crimes with impunity and abused the rights of the Iranian people
  1. IRGC has pressured employers to dismiss relatives of political prisoners and Iranian religious minorities from their jobs
  1. A large percentage of College Admission Quota Allocated to IRGC– an injustice to other Iranian Students

30% of the seats for the admission test in the college entrance exams for assistant physicians and dentists have been denied to the rest of the Iranian society and is allocated to the IRGC and Bassij.


  1. IRGC heavily intervenes in Iranian people’s lives:

    IRGC intervenes in funerals

IRGC prevents hall rental for Nargess Khoobani’s funeral because she is the granddaughter of one of the leaders of the opposition.

IRGC intervenes in private parties

The Guards Corps (IRGC) in Isfahan, Iran, arrested 64 young men and women for participating in a party. The arrests were carried out on Tuesday, August 8, 2017.

IRGC affects the savings and investments of the Iranian people

The Caspian Credit Institution, which is affiliated with the IRGC, is recognized and authorized as a financial institution by the Central Bank of Iran. Thousands of Iranians deposited their savings into the Caspian Credit Institution, only to lose all of their investments when the institution filed for bankruptcy last year.

IRGC is also responsible for the losses of life in the recent devastating flash floods

Why did rain storms inundate Iranian cities and villages with mud and sludge? The IRGC has constructed hundreds of dams, dug hundreds of tunnels, and changed the river paths in many places without observing the crucial rules or regulations. They have also resorted to deforestation and taken over the river banks. They have been engaged in destruction or confiscation of properties non-stop and round the clock.

The IRGC’s Khatam-ol Anbia Garrison, located at Kilometer 3 of Shiraz-Isfahan Road, diverted the path of the flood by engineering equipment to protect the IRGC’s basecamp. As a result, flash floods flowed towards Darvazeh Quran in Shiraz. This is while the river path in Shiraz had already been filled by the IRGC.

  1. IRGC is an instrument by the Velayat-e-Faqih regime to suppress women

IRGC Commander in the western province of Lorestan stressed on the need to deal with women on the pretext of mal-veiling and said, “Today, we must consider the promotion of mal-veiling as a political and security concern.”

Morteza Kashkuli added, “Today, confrontation with the enemy has shifted from the military scene to the political and cultural realm. We have a lot to do in the veiling realm.” (State-run Fars news agency – June 30, 2016)

The FTO classification is a major and effective step forward for the Iranian people fighting for their freedom and rights because it allows any individual, entity or enterprise that is supporting the IRGC – the mullahs instrument of repression, terror, and executions, to be criminally prosecuted.

It is time to end international support to preserve the mullahs’ rule and time to listen to the chants coming from across Iran. The Iranian people chant in their protests and uprisings, that “the enemy is right here.” Yes, the enemy of the people of Iran is no other than the ruling mullahs’ and change is their demand.

Elham Zanjani
Elham Zanjani is a member of the Women’s Committee of the NCRI, the Iranian opposition to the theocratic mullahs’ government.