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February 21, 2018 12:23 pm

US National Security Adviser Warns Companies: Don’t Do Business With Iran

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster speaks at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Feb. 17, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ralph Orlowski.

Companies should avoid doing business with Iran for fear of inadvertently subsidizing terrorism, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said this past weekend.

In his speech at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, McMaster cited the power of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has been sanctioned by the US for involvement in terrorism.

The IRGC wields considerable political and economic influence in the Islamic Republic.

“When you invest in Iran, you’re investing in the IRGC,” McMaster said. “You might as well cut the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a check and say, ‘Please use this to commit more murder across the Middle East.’”

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Since the signing of the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, international sanctions have been lifted and many business and countries have shown interest in investing in Iran.

McMaster noted, “When we look at the biggest trading partners with Iran, we of course see Russia, we see China. But we also see Japan, South Korea, and Germany. It’s time to focus business intelligence efforts to figure out who we are really doing business with and cut off funding.”

Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, CEO of the United Against Nuclear Iran NGO, endorsed McMaster’s speech on Wednesday, stating, “We fully support General H.R. McMaster’s call for businesses to comprehend the risks of engaging with Iran.”

“No business can be assured that by doing business with Iran, they are not engaging with the IRGC, which was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration for its support of terrorist activities,” Wallace added. “With the IRGC immeasurably engaged in Iran’s economy, businesses that choose to enter Iran run the risk of supporting an organization that actively finances and carries out terrorist activity in the Middle East and across the globe.”

President Donald Trump threatened last month to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran over what he sees as flaws in the nuclear deal, saying, “This is a last chance.”

Also in January, the US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions related to Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said of the decision, “These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people.”

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