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Report: Biden considering removing Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from terror list

Axios article claims this could be one of the final side deals to go with a nuclear agreement with Iran

Members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran, Sep. 22, 2011. (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)

The Biden administration is considering removing Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from its terror blacklist, according to a report in Axios.

Israeli reporter Barak Ravid said that several sources – both American and Israeli – told him that the removal would be in exchange for a public commitment from Iran to de-escalate its activities in the region.

Placed on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list by the Trump administration in 2019, the IRGC is a branch of the Iranian military, an elite force responsible for protecting the Islamic regime from internal and external threats. 

It operates the infamous Quds Force, a unit responsible for plotting and carrying out terror attacks around the world, some of which involved the deaths of Americans. In January 2020, the U.S. assassinated Qasem Soleimani, then head of Quds.

Removing the group from the list seems to be one of the last hold outs before signing a new nuclear deal with Tehran as talks in Vienna continue. Removing the terror designation would allow individuals or entities to do business with the IRGC without penalties.

Israel was apparently informed of this impending decision by former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during a visit to the Jewish state last week, according to Axios.

However, a source from the State Department told Axios “It should not be a surprise to anyone that descriptions of our talks from critics not involved in the process are inaccurate," referring to Pence.

According to Ravid's article:

“The State Department official said no decision has been made on the IRGC designation and ‘any speculation to the contrary is simply uninformed.’”

“Nevertheless, the official stressed that regardless, the IRGC will remain on a separate terror list and subject to numerous sanctions, and the U.S. will still have a ‘panoply of tools to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities,’”

“Another senior U.S. official claimed that it would be ‘pure speculation’ to talk about details of a deal that isn’t complete yet, but added, ‘It’s clear that President Trump and Vice President Pence’s withdrawal and maximum pressure campaign have been a clear failure’ because Iran has only increased its nuclear activity and regional aggression.”

U.S. President Joe Biden took the Houthi rebels in Yemen off the list of foreign terrorist organizations in February 2021, right after taking office. Writing in ALL ARAB NEWS earlier this year, Joel Rosenberg called on the president to return the Houthis to the official U.S. list.

"Biden made a terrible mistake removing them from the terrorist list last year and removing sanctions on them. That just emboldened Houthis and the Iranian regime that arms them," the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS wrote. "It has also endangered key allies like Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Enough is enough. It’s time for Biden to stop appeasing the forces of radical Islamism."

Nicole Jansezian was the news editor and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

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