Iran Deal Makes IRGC 'Key' to Entering Market

Details of deal reveal Revolutionary Guards and their firms will be 'main winners' of sanctions relief, despite leading world terrorism.

Ari Yashar,

Iranian Revolutionary Guards (file)
Iranian Revolutionary Guards (file)

Details of the Iranian nuclear deal show that sanctions relief will primarily benefit Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which is involved in terrorist activity around the world.

That relief will see about 90 current and former IRGC officials, entities including the IRGC, and firms doing business for the IRGC taken off of sanctions lists according to Reuters.

Dozens of IRGC-related firms will see a boon from the deal, and their economic profit is estimated to be a major source of the massive gain Iran is to experience from the controversial agreement.

Those firms taken off sanctions lists as soon as the deal is implemented will be able to "move money through global banks, access the SWIFT financial system, obtain and extend credit," and more, according to Foundation for Defense of Democracies executive director Mark Dubowitz.

Dubowitz told Reuters that IRGC will be able to use their dominant role in Iran's economy to be a major force in bringing in new business to Iran, a fact that lead them to likely demand a piece of the pie as companies try to enter the Iranian market.

"Any company that wants to do business in a key strategic sector of Iran’s economy will have to do business with the Revolutionary Guards," he said.

One Western diplomat has estimated that the annual windfall for the IRGC from its business activities is between $10-12 billion.

Giving EU the green light

The nuclear deal will give sanctions relief to the IRGC in stages, with some linked firms seeing benefits immediately and others having to wait eight years for relief from the EU. The US will not give direct sanctions relief to those firms accused of more serious and direct involvement in foreign terrorist acts.

One of those firms that will have to wait eight years for EU relief is IRGC's construction arm, Khatam al Anbia, which holds at least 812 affiliated companies in an empire worth billions of dollars. The US has stated the firms are "proliferators of weapons of mass destruction."

Likewise Bank Saderat Iran (BSI), which the US notes transfers money to terror proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah, will also see EU sanctions lifted in eight years.

The elite Quds Force, responsible for Iran's foreign terror operations, and the IRGC's airforce and missile command, will also be de-listed by the EU in eight years.

Aside from Quds Force Commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, other senior terror officials who will have sanctions removed in eight years include Ahmad Vahidi, a former head of the IRGC wanted by Interpol for his role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community in Argentina's Buenos Aires by Hezbollah at Tehran's orders.

A number of smaller companies connected to the IRGC, many of which directly obtain military goods, are also to receive EU relief in eight years, such as Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Company responsible for developing military aircraft and unmanned aircraft, and Marine Industries that is tasked with marine military acquisitions.

Senator Bob Corker, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned at a hearing last month that the IRGC are "going to be the number one beneficiary of the sanctions lifting."