“The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is a terrorist organization that has murdered thousands of people, including Americans. We refuse to believe that the United States would remove its designation as a terrorist organization.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid expressed their shock and dismay over the reports that the Biden Administration is making overtures to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and plans to remove the IRGC from the terrorist blacklist.
In an unusual move criticizing the US administration, Bennett and Lapid released the following joint statement:
“The Iranian Revolutionary Guards are Hezbollah in Lebanon, they are Islamic Jihad in Gaza, they are the Houthis in Yemen, they are the militias in Iraq.
The IRGC are responsible for attacks on American civilians and American forces throughout the Middle East, including in the past year. The IRGC were behind plans to assassinate senior American government officials.
The IRGC were involved in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians, they destroyed Lebanon and they are brutally oppressing Iranian civilians. They kill Jews because they are Jews, Christians because they are Christians, and Muslims because they refuse to surrender to them.
They are an integral part of the brutal machine of oppression in Iran. Their hands have on them the blood of thousands of Iranians and the crushed soul of the Iranian society.
The attempt to delist the IRGC as a terrorist organization is an insult to the victims and would ignore documented reality supported by unequivocal evidence. We find it hard to believe that the IRGC’s designation as a terrorist organization will be removed in exchange for a promise not to harm Americans.
The fight against terrorism is a global one, a shared mission of the entire world. We believe that the United States will not abandon its closest allies in exchange for empty promises from terrorists.”
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was placed by the Trump administration on the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) of the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism on April 15, 2019.
On Sunday this week, Iran attacked the Kurdish city of Erbil with a dozen ballistic missiles that targeted the United States consulate there as well as an alleged Israeli site. Iranian state media said Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps carried out the attack.
According to Ravid, the Biden administration is considering making a public announcement after de-listing the IRCG, saying the US reserves the right to redesignate it should Iran not honor its pledge to de-escalate its violence in the region.
Here’s another worrisome note: according to Axios reporter Barak Ravid, when former Vice President Mike Pence visited Israel last week, he told Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid that Biden was going to ask for an Iranian commitment not to target US citizens assets in the region. When Bennett and Lapid checked with Washington they were told the idea had been considered and dropped.