Saudi, Bahrain add Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to terrorism lists

Tony Abu Momoh
3 Min Read

Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that it and Bahrain had added Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and senior officers from its Quds Force to their lists of people and organisations suspected of involvement in terrorism.

The Saudi state news agency SPA quoted a statement from the security services as saying Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, and the force’s Hamed Abdollahi and Abdul Reza Shahlai had been included on the list.

The U.S. Treasury Department alleged in 2011 that Soleimani, Abdollahi and Shahlai were linked to a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to the U.S., Adel Al-Jubeir, and imposed sanctions on them.

Iran at the time dismissed the accusations as false and demanded an apology from Washington.

The office of the Revolutionary Guards and Iran’s Foreign Ministry were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

The Quds Force is the branch of the Revolutionary Guards that operates abroad.

In Washington on Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury targeted Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency with sanctions against eight individuals, who were designated global terrorists, including two linked to the Quds Force named as Mohammad Owhadi and Esma’il Razavi.

The Taliban-related sanctions were also imposed by the seven members of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), a U.S.-Gulf initiative to stem finance to militant groups.

The centre was established in May 2017 during U.S. President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi Arabia and the U.S. co-chair the group and Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are also members.

The Trump administration aims to create a security and political alliance with the Sunni Gulf Arab states to counter Shi’ite Iran’s influence in the region, especially in Syria and Iraq.

Trump withdrew in May from a nuclear deal with Iran that lifted most international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs on its atomic program.

Trump said the deal did not address Iran’s ballistic missile programme, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 or its role in regional conflicts.

Saudi Arabia welcomed Trump’s decision and said it would work with the U.S. to address Iran’s support of militant groups in the region and its ballistic missile programme that is run by the Revolutionary Guards.

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