When sanctions fail to improve Iran’s behavior, U.S.-imposed regime change is not the answer

April 8, 2019
Contact: press@defensepriorities.org

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the White House announced its intention to designate Iran’s IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Defense Priorities Policy Director Benjamin H. Friedman issued the following statement in response:

“Designating a part of Iran’s government as a terrorist organization is a step toward saying, ‘we cannot live with them and have to bomb them.’

“There are valid reasons the United States has not previously designated a state-entity as a terrorist organization. Politicizing who we call a terrorist makes other nations less likely to take seriously the accuracy of U.S. designations, and it could expose U.S. armed forces to scurrilous charges.

“Designating the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) seems to follow a political agenda, not any new intelligence assessment. The Trump administration’s Iran policies are not going to change the regime and are unlikely to improve its behavior, but they may provoke Iran to violate the terms of the JCPOA and provoke a crisis or war.

“The Iranian regime’s bad actions are hardly a threat to the United States or grounds for crisis and armed conflict, which holds the potential for disaster. The United States should stop trying to manage that part of the world with our military and avoid another foolish war there.”