A Harvard-educated scholar who is president of the International American Council on the Middle East is asking whether Joe Biden really wants his legacy to include a campaign to take the terrorists in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran off America’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
The IRGC, after all, previously was labeled the “Mother of All Terrorist Groups” for its support for terror globally, as it is known for “organizing, supporting, training, arming and financing” militia groups that, in foreign nations, have launched wars, fomented unrest, attacked and invaded cities and assassinated political figures.
The comment from Majid Rafizadeh, a business strategist and adviser who also is a board member of Harvard International Review, came in a commentary in the Gatestone Institute.
He said, “If the Biden administration removes the IRGC from the terrorist list, it will be enabling this terrorist organization to gain legitimacy, do more business, obtain more funds, kill and harm more innocent civilians, pursue more aggressively its mission of Jihad, anti-Semitism and the elimination of countries in the region, crack down more forcefully on the Iranian people, and carry out more terrorist plots throughout the world. Does Biden really need this to add to his increasingly notable legacy?”
He explained in Biden’s pursuit of his agenda in the Middle East, he’s already suspended sanctions against Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthis that the Trump administration had imposed. Then he revoked their designation as a terrorist group, allowing them to be “attacking their neighbors, as recently as this week.”
But to take a similar step regarding the IRGC is another matter entirely, he said.
Such a move would benefit ” an organization that has killed hundreds, no thousands of Americans ‘before and after 9/11,’” he pointed out.
In a federal court, a judge already has ruled that the IRBC “materially aided and supported al-Qaida before and after 9/11.”
And, he explained, Fox News reported that the proposal has raised objections from more than 80 Republicans in Congress.
Their letter explains, “The IRGC continues to actively participate in acts of terror and destabilizing actions in the region—particularly against one of our closest allies, Israel. It is also a chief supporter and enabler of other FTOs and insurgent groups in the region. These organizations include, but are not limited to: Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Houthi insurgency. The IRGC’s actions have led to decades of instability and conflict across the Middle East and the group is responsible for countless deaths, including more than 600 U.S. troops during the occupation of Iraq.”
Various departments of the IRGC have developed plans to bomb Saudi Arabian and Israeli embassies, and have smuggled advanced weapons to militias it controls.
Those include kits to convert “unguided rockets into precision-guided missiles,” he reported.
And he noted, “The mission of Jihad for the IRGC is unmistakably clear in Iran’s Constitution. Its Preamble states: ‘the Constitution provides the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the Revolution at home and abroad.’”
It states, “[T]he Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are to be organized in conformity with this goal, and they will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of (Shiite) jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God’s (Shiite) law throughout the world in the hope that this century will witness the establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others.”
U.S. officials including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe have warned Biden, saying, “The IRGC is a terrorist organization and should remain labeled as such.”
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