Over 500 – all Iranian-Americans – signed a letter sent to President Biden, copying Secretary of State Blinken and all U.S. House and Senate members. The letter begins by noting that Iranian negotiators have made the demand to delist the IRGC one of their top demands in the nuclear negotiations in Vienna.
The letter states, “This demand is certainly not accidental, and unquestionably against the will and interest of the Iranian people, and a direct threat to the advancement of democracy.”
The Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list is maintained by the Federal Bureau of Counterterrorism, which identifies all FTO-listed entities as “foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
What does that mean to the United States, and how does it impact listed groups? The Bureau says, “FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.”
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was added to the list on April 15, 2019, under President Trump, along with several ISIS groups in Africa, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. There was no doubt then that the IRGC deserved the designation as a terrorist group. Has the organization had a sudden change of heart?
The IRGC has publicly taken responsibility for numerous terror attacks, including the February 2022 attack in Erbil, Iraq, which targeted the U.S. consulate building. Thankfully, it caused only material damage to the building and wounded one civilian.
The official IRGC Public Relations department claimed the attack targeted a secret Mossad installation. The official press release stated, “the IRGC hit the Zionists’ strategic center of plot and evil acts,” claiming the IRGC used “powerful missiles with pinpoint accuracy last night” [March 12, 2022]. “Once again, we warn the criminal Zionist regime that the repetition of any evil act will draw harsh, decisive, and devastating responses.”
An Iraqi security official confirmed that the missiles were Iranian, noting, “Parts of the fired missiles were retrieved, and it was manufactured by Iran,” CNBC reported.