A view shows houses and buildings destroyed in Israeli strikes, in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, October 11, 2023.

Iran Prepares For More Sanctions, IRGC Listing: Leaked Document

Thursday, 02/29/2024

A hacked document from the Iranian parliament reveals Tehran anticipated heightened global pressure post-Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel, including wider terrorist designation for the IRGC.

The document is a strategic report by the parliament’s monitoring department titled the Outlook on Regional Developments After the Gaza War, providing a rare glimpse into the Iranian regime's own thinking on the repercussions of the conflict that has engulfed the Middle East since Ocotber. The report was prepared in early December, about the time when Iran-backed regional militant groups intensified attacks on Israeli and US targets to pressure Israel into ceasing its offensive against Hamas.

Uprising till Overthrow, closely affiliated with the Albania-based opposition Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) organization, said they breached 600 of the main servers of the parliament, including those of commissions, assistants, the parliament bank, and other servers related to administrative functions, via the legislature's media arm, Khaneh Mellat News Agency.

The 13-page document highlighted that Tehran is aware of the US and Israel's plans to shift their focus to Iran after the Gaza war and is expecting mounting international pressure and further economic sanctions. The document claimed the US and Israel will adopt the “Octopus Doctrine,” which means taking up measures against Tehran instead of confronting its proxy tentacles across the region.

Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, as seen from the city of Ashkelon, Israel, October 9.

The document, however, predicted a low possibility for any direct confrontation with the US or Israel. But the report was prepared well before the attack by Tehran-funded Iraqi militants on a US base in Jordan in late January, which killed three US servicemen and injured about 40 others. After the attack, the Pentagon said, “We know that Iran is behind it, and we will certainly hold them responsible." The attack, along with Iran’s Houthi rebels’ attacks on Red Sea shipping, intensified the conflict, prompting the US to lead an international military coalition to blow up dozens of targets in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The possibility of a direct confrontation with Iran was briefly elevated, but the attacks by Iran-backed militia suddenly decreased significantly after the early February flare-up.

The parliament’s report assessed that other countries would increase economic pressures on Iran, including through disrupting Tehran’s rising oil sales, and further European sanctions based on UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the foundation of the 2015 nuclear deal, whose military checks and balances expired in October 2023.

Among the consequences, the report predicted that Washington would push its allies to designate the Revolutionary Guards, the main outfit pulling the strings of most regional militia. There have been numerous calls by US lawmakers on other countries to follow suit and blacklist the IRGC as a terror group. The United States listed the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 2019.

In addition to years-long activism by Iranian dissidents to label the IRGC, the parliaments of the United Kingdom, Canada, and Europe have voted overwhelmingly to designate the group. However, no country has taken the step, each with different justifications, but in general, to keep a diplomatic dialogue open with Tehran. 

The report also predicted that Iranian foreign resources, such as the revenues of its exports in foreign banks, can also be a target for the global community to put pressure on Iran. The report also envisioned a unified international coalition against Tehran, which ironically enough is what Iranian dissidents and opposition figures have been urging for a long time.

The report outlined various potential scenarios, exploring possibilities such as ending the Gaza war with the current status quo -- which the report described as a victory for Hamas – or the perpetuation of conflict without decisive outcomes.

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