(October 16, 2018 / JNS) The United States sanctioned 22 businesses on Wednesday for providing financial support to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s militia which recruits, trains and deploys child soldiers.
“The Bonyad Taavon Basij network is a quintessential example of how the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] and Iranian military forces have expanded their economic involvement in major industries, and infiltrated seemingly legitimate businesses to fund terrorism and other malign activities,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“This vast network provides a financial lifeline to the Basij’s efforts to recruit, train and indoctrinate child soldiers as young as 12 who are coerced into combat under the IRGC’s direction,” he added.
Founded just after the 1979 revolution and incorporated under the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in 2007, the Basij brainwashes children and provides combat training to those not even a teenager yet, according to the Treasury Department.
The Basij has violently cracked down in the regime, and has recruited fighters and deployed them to the Iranian proxy in Syria, the Treasury Department said in a press release announcing the sanctions.
Some sanctions that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal were re-imposed earlier this year after U.S. President Trump withdrew from it.
The next round of sanctions is scheduled for Nov. 4.