ANALYSIS – Under pressure to get a new nuclear deal with Iran, any nuclear deal with Iran, President Biden is even considering removing Iran’s infamous Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the terror blacklist President Trump put them on in 2019.
When Trump took the long overdue action of placing the IRGC on the list as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) it was the first time a state entity was added to the list.
And it was big deal, since as Axios notes:
The IRGC is not only Iran’s most feared military branch, it’s also a powerful political and economic player. The terror designation means that even if Biden lifts nuclear sanctions to return to compliance with the deal, criminal penalties could still be imposed on anyone doing business with individuals or businesses connected to the IRGC.
But now Biden is willing to undermine all that in pursuit of reviving the failed 2015 Obama-Biden nuclear deal with Iran which Trump walked away from, since it was not a Senate-ratified treaty.
Biden’s only concession from Iran? A promise to ‘de-escalate’ its attacks in the region. However, without specifics, any promise from Tehran would be essentially worthless, especially if Iranian-supported terrorist militias are not directly included in the deal.
U.S. critics and the Israeli government are extremely concerned about this proposal to de-list the IRGC, more so since Team Biden isn’t demanding any specific commitments from Iran not to target the U.S. and its allies in the region (Israel in particular, but Arab allies as well).
The IRGC designation is not directly related to the nuclear deal, and any decision would take the form of a separate bilateral understanding between the U.S. and Iran, according to the U.S. and Israeli sources.
Then there is the Russian involvement with Iran as negotiators. The fact that they are still involved in negotiating with Biden, as Russian forces lay waste to Ukraine is more than absurd, it is insulting.
Meanwhile, Russian diplomat Mikhail Ulyanov praised Iranian negotiators earlier this month, saying that Iran “got much more than it could expect.”
Isn’t that sweet?
This came after Richard Nephew, known as the architect of sanctions on Tehran, had stepped down as Biden’s Deputy Special Envoy for Iran. He had urged a tougher stance on nuclear talks. According to the Wall Street Journal, two other negotiators had stepped left the negotiating team because they wanted a harder negotiating position.
What’s the bottom line? HotAir explains:
Just to be clear, this proposal has a lot to do with sanctions. Anyone who does any sort of business with the IRGC is subject to sanctions because of the group’s terrorist designation. So, if the IRGC is removed from the watchlist, we will find ourselves in a situation where Russia, a nation currently being hit with some of the biggest international sanctions ever seen, will have negotiated its way into removing sanctions from one of the worst terrorist groups in the world while securing for itself some sanction relief in its dealings with Iran.
Thankfully, removing the IRGC FTO designation doesn’t come without political risks for Biden, as it will create a massive backlash from Republicans and likely several Democrats in the Senate too. This is the last thing Biden should want right now. It’s time to make some noise.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.