More Republican lawmakers have raised objections to removing Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTO).
Representative Scott Franklin – who spearheaded a letter expressing opposition to the Biden administration’s possible move – reiterated on Tuesday that the IRGC is a chief sponsor of terrorism in the world today.
In the letter, Franklin and 86 of his colleagues urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken not to remove the IRGC from the list, saying the IRGC "is one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world today. Through its sponsorship of terrorism, the IRGC is responsible for the deaths of countless innocent people and at least 600 US troops during the occupation of Iraq”.
They said they are deeply concerned about reports that the administration intends to remove the IRGC terrorist designation “within the confines of a new Iran Nuclear Deal”, adding “We are united in strong opposition to any move to legitimize the IRGC’s reckless, destabilizing, and anti-Semitic actions throughout the Middle East”.
Israel’s prime minister and foreign minister have called on Washington to keep IRGC on the list, saying the IRGC is "a terrorist organization that has murdered thousands of people, including Americans”.
Iranian officials have been publicly raising the issue since at least November, saying a ‘good deal’ would mean lifting sanctions on the Revolutionary Guard.
Such a step would reverse former President Donald Trump's 2019 blacklisting of the group, the first time the US had formally labeled part of another sovereign government as a terrorist group.