(March 17, 2022 / JNS) Despite the organization’s recent attack near American assets in Iraq, the Biden administration has reportedly countered the Iranian regime’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the list of foreign terrorist organizations if the IRGC publicly commits to de-escalation in the region, according to Axios.
The decision would require a separate bilateral agreement. It was not part of the original 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the United States and Iran have held indirect negotiations to re-enter but is being demanded by Iran as a precondition to rejoin the JCPOA.
The IRGC was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Trump administration in 2019, becoming the first state-affiliated organization to be included on the list.
According to Axios, the United States is considering the ability to re-designate it as an FTO if the organization does not follow through with its pledge.
Amb. Dennis Ross, who has advised presidents of both political parties, and most recently secretary of state Hillary Clinton in the Obama administration said on Twitter that “tying the delisting of the IRGC to Iran promising to de-escalate in the region makes us look naive.”
“For the IRGC, which admitted this week to firing rockets into Erbil, to promise to de-escalate regionally is about as credible as [Russian President Vladimir] Putin saying Russia would not invade Ukraine,” tweeted Ross.
Another former Obama administration official, Ambassador Martin Indyk, tweeted that he hoped negotiators take into account the impact that taking the IRGC off the terror list would have on the region.
“Especially among all the allies and friends who have suffered from the impact of IRGC activities. It will be seen as a betrayal. The fine print will be ignored,” he said.
“Removing the IRGC from our terror blacklist in exchange for Iran’s de-escalation in the region would be a huge mistake,” Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) said in a tweet. “The IRGC is a threat to us, our allies, and the world. This move would make them even more dangerous than they already are.”
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