عربي | كوردى



Designate IRGC, Houthis to increase pressure on Iran

Designate IRGC, Houthis to increase pressure on Iran

2019/06/17 | 22:30

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)-











Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg







As

Germany and Japan were not able to persuade Iran to climb down from its

collision course with the international community, it is important to consider

the next steps to avoid war and at the same time bring Tehran to the

negotiating table to discuss the concerns of its neighbors and the world at

large.The failure of last week’s visits to Iran by the Japanese prime

minister and German foreign minister is by now quite evident. Iran did not

respond to calls for negotiations and restraint, but instead escalated its

confrontation with the US and the international community with further attacks

on international shipping and missile and drone attacks against Saudi Arabia.

It has also announced that it plans to breach limits on its uranium stockpile

in the near future and increase enrichment levels.Last Wednesday, the Houthis attacked Abha Airport, injuring 26

civilians — an attack labeled by the New York-based Human Rights Watch as a

possible war crime. On Thursday, two oil tankers, one Japanese and one

Norwegian, were attacked in international waters, “almost certainly” by Iran’s

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The attacks coincided with German and

Japanese attempts to defuse the situation. Later in the week, Saudi defenses

intercepted several drone attacks against civilian targets in southern Saudi Arabia,

including one over the city of Abha. The Houthis have claimed responsibility

for these and hundreds of other missile and drone attacks, which they have

stepped up to coincide with the attacks on international shipping in the Gulf

region. Last month, similar attacks were launched against oil tankers off the

UAE coast and an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia.No one is sure what route Iran will follow next; whether they are

trying to start a war through these provocations, or using the threat of war to

pressure the US to change its sanctions and “maximum pressure” policy. Either

way, Iran’s high stakes brinkmanship could lead to a military confrontation.Assuming that the current low-intensity conflict continues, there

is a needed to adopt a long-term approach to produce the desired results,

including changing Iran’s behavior to ensure it lives within its borders like a

normal state and according to the principles of international law and the UN

Charter.The first step is to strengthen the global consensus against

Iran’s support for terrorism. The international community was able to unite to

fight Daesh and Al-Qaeda. A similar approach should be followed to outlaw the

IRGC globally, as the US and a few other countries have done. The Global

Coalition Against Daesh, led by the US, included scores of countries — by no

means every country, but it embodied a consensus that enabled it to act against

Daesh. The attacks against oil tankers are clear acts of terrorism and should

move skeptics to designate the IRGC as a terrorist enterprise and its leaders

as terrorists.Similarly, the Houthis have committed acts of terror and, in some

cases, war crimes. Providing the Houthis with missiles and drones and training

the militiamen to use them against civilians are also acts of terror and in

clear violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, including 2216 of

April 2015, which was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. In some

cases, the indiscriminate use of ballistic missiles and drones by Houthi

militias, and their attacks against civilian targets, could constitute war

crimes.A

global move to designate the Houthi militia as a terrorist group is warranted.

Already, the UNSC has imposed sanctions against individual Houthi leaders, but

the recent systematic attacks targeting civilians and civilian structures in

Saudi Arabia have proved that the whole Houthi enterprise is terrorist in

nature, i.e., deliberately using violence against civilians to achieve

political goals.After legally designating the IRGC and the Houthis as terrorist

groups, the international community’s next step should be to follow the example

of the Global Coalition Against Daesh. UNSC resolutions 2249 and 2253 and

similar instruments have provided the framework under which the international

community has dealt with Daesh, Al-Qaeda and similar designated organizations.

They were mostly unanimously adopted, sometimes issued under Chapter VII of the

Charter, and called upon all UN member states to redouble their efforts against

these groups. That framework provided the international community, collectively

or through coalitions of interested parties, to go after these terrorist

enterprises. Depriving them of funds is an important step in this framework.

Through the coordinated work of central banks, finance ministries and security

organizations, channels of funding are gradually disrupted and terrorists are

starved of the money need to carry out their activities.The counter-terrorism framework exists and functions fairly well,

and it could be adapted to deal with the IRGC and its proxies in the region,

including the Houthi militias. All that is needed is the designation of a

particular group as a terrorist organization.The IRGC is a mammoth enterprise compared to Daesh or Al-Qaeda

and, as such, it would be a difficult undertaking to stop its activities, but

enough pressure could be put on its leaders to disabuse them of the idea that

they can achieve their goals by attacking international shipping, oil

pipelines, airports or other civilian targets. Hopefully, this would push them

and Iran into accepting calls for negotiations and to discuss the underlying

reasons for the US sanctions.









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