The US State Department said Friday that President Joe Biden regards Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s extraterritorial Qods (Quds) Force a terrorist group.
On Thursday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mike Milley told a Congressional hearing that he opposes removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the US terror list and believes the Qods Force to be a terrorist organization.
“I’d say that the President shares the chairman’s [Gen. Milley] view that IRGC-Quds Forces are terrorists, and beyond that, we aren’t going to comment on… topics in the nuclear talks,” Deputy State Department Spokesperson Jalina Porter said.
Negotiations that started one year ago in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal known as JCPOA are in a state of limbo after Iran demanded the removal of IRGC from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization blacklist. The Biden Administration has apparently not made a decision on Iran’s demand.
Most Republicans and many Democratic lawmakers have increasingly voiced opposition to delisting the IRGC, which has created a network of militant proxy groups in the Middle East and threatens US allies.
The nuance in the State Department statement is about whether President Biden considers the whole of IRGC a terrorist organization or is trying to only keep the Qods Force on the terror list and remove the larger organization to reach a deal with Tehran.