The top US general says he does not support removing Iran's Quds (Qods) Force, an arm of its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), from a US terrorism list.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, "In my personal opinion I believe the IRGC Quds Force to be a terrorist organization and I do not support them being delisted from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list."
Milley’s remarks were worded very carefully as he differentiated the IRGC from the Quds Force -- its extraterritorial military wing – suggesting that the Biden administration may considering delisting the IRGC as an FTO but keeping its Quds Force as a terrorist organization.
Such a move may be intended to resolve one of the remaining issues in talks to restore the 2015 nuclear deal known as the JCPOA that have reached a deadlock over Iran’s demand to delist the IRGC.
The Trump administration added the IRGC to the list in 2019. Iran insists that delisting the IRGC is a requirement and 'red line' for a deal, and its foreign ministry blames Washington for the delay in reaching a deal, saying the halt in the Vienna talks is due to US failure to make a "political decision".
The Biden administration has apparently not made a decision yet, amid rising opposition by Republican congressmen as well as a growing