Iran General NewsIran's Revolutionary Guards beat sanctions: exile

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards beat sanctions: exile

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Reuters: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards are using front groups to beat U.N. sanctions and acquire weapons and material for Tehran’s nuclear program, an exiled opponent of the Iranian government said on Wednesday. By Paul Eckert

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards are using front groups to beat U.N. sanctions and acquire weapons and material for Tehran’s nuclear program, an exiled opponent of the Iranian government said on Wednesday.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, who accurately disclosed important details about Iran’s nuclear program in 2002, called for tighter U.N. curbs and swift U.S. action to rein in the elite corps.

“The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been, consistently over the past few months, violating the United Nations resolutions 1737 and 1747, using different ways to evade the sanctions and import goods and material,” Jafarzadeh said at a news conference in Washington.

Those two sets of sanctions were slapped on Iran for rejecting any halt to uranium enrichment, a process the United States and other Western countries suspect Tehran is using to develop atomic bombs.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and on Tuesday struck a deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency on how to defuse Western suspicions about its nuclear ambitions.

Jafarzadeh, who provided names and details of 15 firms he said were operating as fronts for the Revolutionary Guards and its affiliates, said the U.N. sanctions did not cover all of the firms that were abetting Iran’s nuclear drive.

“This is alarming because we have seen an upsurge of activities of the Iranian regime in regards to a whole host of rogue activities — both stepping up their engagement in terrorism in Iraq, but specifically on the weapons of mass destruction (and) the nuclear weapons program,” he said.

‘U.S. NEEDS TO TAKE ACTION’

Jafarzadeh said his information came from Iran-based members of the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran, which seeks to topple Iran’s government and is on the U.S. list of extremist organizations.

Now a Washington consultant, he served as congressional liaison and spokesperson in the United States for the exiled National Council of Resistance of Iran for 12 years until 2003. A staunch critic of Tehran, he has been vilified by Iran and pro-government groups.

The list identified Tose’eh Silo Co. and Sazeh Pardaz Co. of Iran as primary builders of Iran’s Natanz nuclear site.

Jafarzadeh listed some prominent firms as front companies for the Revolutionary Guards and said other firms, including Iranian-owned companies in Dubai and Italy, played roles in Iran’s clandestine nuclear and weapons programs.

“A lot of these organizations need to be added, not only to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions … but, specifically, the United States needs to take action,” he said.

Jafarzadeh said his information came from Iran-based members of the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran, which seeks to topple Iran’s government and is on the U.S. list of extremist organizations.

U.S. officials said last week that Washington might soon name the Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist group, a move that would enable the United States to go after the finances of a pillar of Iran’s Islamic government.

The U.S. designation “should have been done a long time ago,” said Jafarzadeh.

“We are not talking about a military entity like any other country,” he said of the Revolutionary Guards. “We’re talking about really a Mafia that is dominating every aspect of the country, headed by the supreme leader and the president.”

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