Biden Poised To Remove Iran's IRGC From Terror List To Wrap Up Nuke Deal

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Mar 16, 2022 - 07:45 PM

At a moment a restored JCPOA Iran nuclear deal is said to be nearing the finish line, despite recent complications involving Russia's demand of written guarantees that Ukraine-related sanctions won't hinder its trade with the Islamic Republic, the White House is poised to remove  Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the official terrorist. 

Biden's potentially reversing Trump's 2019 designation of the elite Iranian military group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization is being seen as a final huge concession toward Tehran, with the immediate effect of providing energy markets relief as additional oil supplies are badly needed for Europe. 

Axios' Barak Ravid reports Wednesday that "The Biden administration is considering removing Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from a terror blacklist in return for a public commitment from Iran to de-escalation in the region, three Israeli officials and two U.S. sources tell me."


The same report said that Iranian leaders consider the IRGC's removal from the FTO to be a key final sticking point if a restored deal is to succeed in Vienna.

If it happens, Biden would likely come under bipartisan attack and pressure from Iran hawks - no doubt with Republicans leading the way, however. Israel too is firmly against any change in the current designation as it sees the IRGC as it's number one enemy. The past years of almost weekly Israel airstrikes on Syria are typically explained as targeting IRGC assets in Syria. 

Tel Aviv has also long condemned the IRGC's links to Hezbollah - as the two have a weapons supply relationship, and in some cases it's believed IRGC operatives are on the ground training Hezbollah forces in Lebanon. The Shia military groups have also closely coordinated throughout a decade of the Syria war. 

According to Axios, the Israelis are especially concerned about any plan to de-designate the IRGC as any "promises" of de-escalation would be so vague as to be moot. Per the Wednesday report:

  • One idea being discussed by the Biden administration would be a public announcement that the U.S. reserves the right to redesignate the IRGC if it determines that Iran did not follow through on its pledge to de-escalate in the region.
  • The Israeli officials say the Biden administration briefed the Israeli government that such possibilities are being considered but stressed that no decisions have been made.
  • The Israeli government is concerned about the idea, and in particular, the fact that the U.S. didn't demand specific commitments from Iran not to target the U.S. and its allies in the region, two senior Israeli officials tell me.

Upon the report hitting Wednesday afternoon, it generated immediate outrage among some Western pundits, despite all eyes being on the Ukraine crisis...

The State Department, meanwhile, when asked to comment on the development rejected reports of impending plans to remove the IRGC from the FTO as "speculation". 

The Iranians see the IRGC as a legitimate and integral part of the country's main military branches, while over the past three years Washington has seen it as an initiator of terror plots abroad, and as a main way that Tehran has helped to prop up Assad in Syria, despite American-Gulf sponsored regime change efforts.