The U.S. State Department’s listing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) went into effect this week, sparking an immediate response from Tehran, as well as moves by the private sector and reaction from the international community.
While the action is largely symbolic because the IRGC, a paramilitary force that reports to Iran’s Supreme Leader, has already been placed under multiple rounds of sanctions, the U.S. added two of the IRGC’s affiliates, including its Navy and Ground Force.
The IRGC also controls large sectors of the Iranian economy, including banking, shipping and construction. Many of the entities it controls are also sanctioned, including Mehr Bank, construction giant Khatam Al-Anbiya, the Baqiyattalah University of Medical Sciences, Pars Aviation Services Company and the Bonyad Taavon Sepah, which was formed by IRGC commanders to structure the IRGC’s investments. The IRGC-controlled entities hold stakes in a number of non-sanctioned companies, including the Bonyad, which owns shares of Shahab Sang Industrial Mining Company and Talieh Sabz Jahan Company according to the recent corporate records.