Iranian dissidents warn removing IRGC terror designation will lead to ‘terrorism and chaos’

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A leading Iranian resistance group warns that any move to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the United States’ Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list will “aggravate terrorism and chaos” in the region, as that the Biden administration fears making such a move as part of negotiations to bring Iran back into the 2015 nuclear deal.

“A possible exclusion of the IRGC from the FTO list and the removal of these individuals from the terrorism blacklist, as demanded by Iran’s ruling theocracy, will undoubtedly intensify terrorism and chaos in the region,” he said. -he adds. The report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), released on Thursday, said.

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As talks are underway in Vienna to bring Iran back into the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) from which the US and Iran exited, Iran reportedly demanded the removal of the designation FTO for the IRGC.

The designation was put in place by the Trump administration in 2019, which also launched a strike to remove IRGC General Qassem Soleimani, who led its paramilitary Quds forces.

This image from video footage broadcast by Iranian state television on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 shows the launch of a rocket by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards carrying a Noor-2 satellite in the northeast Shahroud desert , in Iran. (Iranian State TV via AP)

Prime Minister of Israel said last month Iran is asking for it, adding that Iran “is now asking to let the biggest terrorist organization on earth off the hook.”

The NCRI report, which calls for a secular, democratic and non-nuclear Iran, said the designation “has handicapped many foreign financial transactions linked to the IRGC”.

The report describes the IRGC’s work in military and terrorist operations in other countries in the region, through proxies, and the training of foreign mercenaries in places like Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. It also outlines allegations that he funded Hamas and also sought to stage assassination attempts on US soil. It supports previous NCRI reports on the IRGC’s use of drones and naval proxies.

“The IRGC’s involvement in the research and development of weapons of mass destruction, the relentless terrorist activities to foment chaos, destruction and instability across the Middle East, its financial empire to finance its activities in Iran and abroad, make this terrorist organization a serious global threat,” the report said.

It also describes how the IRGC is used against the Iranian people, especially after dissident uprisings have shaken the regime’s grip on power, in order to project an image of its own strength on the people.

The group warns that JCPOA outreach and talks by the United States and its allies have only served to embolden the regime in Tehran’s terrorist activities.

“Continued offers of concessions from Western countries and lack of accountability for the regime’s terrorism have emboldened Tehran to step up its terrorism in the region,” Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the NCRI’s Washington bureau, said when the report was released. report.

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Jafarzadeh warned that any move to remove the FTO designation from the IRGC would be “counterproductive at best”.

“Instead of holding the regime accountable for its escalated terrorism, the West would reward terrorism, which would lead to even more violence,” he said, arguing that more sanctions are warranted because of the continued terrorist activities. regime in the region.

These concerns about a removal of FTO have been shared in Congress. A bipartisan group of 21 House members, including 11 Democrats, has written to President Biden expressing concern that a new deal with Iran may not be tough enough.

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“Among other issues, we are very concerned about reports indicating the potential lifting of the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and sanctions imposed on members of the Office of the Supreme Leader.” , said the letter said.

The report comes two days after the IRGC launched a second reconnaissance satellite into space.

“We are destined to reach space and praise God,” said General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who heads the Guard’s aerospace division. “Now the way is set and we certainly have to do bigger things.”

Ronn Blitzer of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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