A framed photo of IRGC Quds force commander Qasem Soleimani at Kerman’s Martyrs Cemetery on the eve of his second death anniversary in January, 2022

A framed photo of IRGC Quds force commander Qasem Soleimani at Kerman’s Martyrs Cemetery on the eve of his second death anniversary in January, 2022

Iran's Threats Against US Officials Biggest Hurdle In Nuclear Deal


Washington wants Iran to stop threats against US officials for the killing of Ghasem Soleimani if it wants its Revolutionary Guard to be removed from a terrorist list.

The United States will not remove the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) from its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) unless Tehran pledges to cease its death threats against US officials for the killing of the IRGC's Ghasem Soleimani, a source close to the Vienna talks has told Radio Farda, the Persian service of the US government funded Radio Free Europe.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Ebrahim Raisi, and IRGC officials have repeatedly vowed to avenge Soleimani's death.

“Trump and others like him will be forgotten and lost in the dustbin of history, of course after paying for their crimes in the world," Khamenei said on January 1, two days before the anniversary of Soleimani's killing in Baghdad in January 2020 on former US President Donald Trump's orders.

In a televised speech two days later, Raisi said that "Muslims" would take revenge" if Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were not "tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating Soleimani."

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Radio Farda that Tehran's last-minute demand for delisting the IRGC is currently the biggest hurdle in the way of an agreement to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Soleimani, who was Iran’s top military and intelligence operator outside its borders, was in charge of supporting and organizing militant proxy forces, including the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraq Shiite militia groups that have repeatedly attacked US forces.

The European Union's top diplomat Josep Borrel said Monday that talks were stuck by Tehran due to new demands that weren’t part of the JCPOA, such as the status of the IRGC, after a hurdle thrown by Russia was overcome. "It’d be a shame not to reach some sort of an agreement when we're so near to reaching one,” Borrel told the European Parliament

The source also told Radio Farda that the US has asked Iran to pledge that it will not threaten and harm US citizens and facilities in the region.

An Iranian student during a ceremony to celebrate the anniversary of Iran hostage crisis on November 4, 2021

According to Radio Farda's source, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian's remarks in an interview Saturday referred to the US condition of not pursuing revenge for Soleimani's killing. "When we say IRGC we mean General Ghasem Soleimani," Amir-Abdollahian said in the interview.

"Regarding the IRGC, what is important is to acknowledge the standing and the central role of the IRGC in our security and defense. [Negotiators] relayed some messages to the US [in this regard]," Amir-Abdollahian said in the same interview.

Trump administration officials have strongly opposed the possibility of the IRGC's delisting. In a joint statement last week, three former senior officials, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, and former director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe said delisting the IRGC would be “a dangerous capitulation" and "a denial of the basic reality that the IRGC's core mission is to spread terror."

“The pursuit of an ill-conceived ‘deal’ should not compel American leaders to acquiesce to the demands of a terrorist regime to deny the truth. American lives are at stake, and this is a time to project strength, not weakness," they said in their statement shared with Axios.

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