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Could Using a Cell Phone in Iran Put You in Business with “Terrorists”?

U.S. lawmakers consider placing Iran's Revolutionary Guards as "terrorist'' organization, impeding international trade with Iran post-nuclear sanctions relief. Image by Kamyar Adl (CC BY 2.0).

U.S. lawmakers consider placing Iran's Revolutionary Guards as “terrorist” organization, impeding international trade with Iran post-nuclear sanctions relief. Image by Kamyar Adl (CC BY 2.0).

Could using a cell phone in Iran entangle you with ”terrorists”?

This might be the case if Iran's Revolutionary Guards who control the country's telecommunications monopoly are designated as “terrorists”. This is a possibility being discussed as U.S. politicians and lawmakers consider how stringently to impose economic sanctions on Iran once the sanctions related to the country's nuclear program are removed. The passing of the 14 July nuclear accord signed in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 is becoming more of certainty after Democratic senators filibustered Republican efforts to block the deal on 10 September.

In a recent New York Times article, the newspaper's chief military correspondent Walter Gordon explains the promises President Obama had to make to skeptical Democrats he needed on his side. To this effect, the President has emphasized that the United States would increase sanctions on Iran's activities related to terrorism in the region, as well as human rights abuses.

Designating the Revolutinary Guards as “terrorists” is a way U.S. lawmakers are proposing to take this a step further. Amendments to sanctions on Iran would discourage business with any Iranian firm with an association with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps through the designation.

Many have already predicted the Revolutionary Guards stand to benefit the most from nuclear sanctions relief on Iran, as they maintain a foothold in crucial sectors of the country's economy, including construction, communications, banking and energy. The Guards also have a minority stake, or influence through membership or executive positions in hundreds of Iranian companies across a wide range of sectors.

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