Abu Dhabi (Times Of Ocean)- The UAE is shocked by the United States’ consideration of removing the IRGC from the terrorist list.
United Arab Emirates officials are reportedly “shocked” that the United States is considering removing Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the terrorist organization list as a way to advance talks about re-entering the Iran Nuclear Deal.
A source in Abu Dhabi says some people there “are in shock,” viewing a removal from the terrorist list similarly to Israel.
“[I] find it hard to believe that the IRGC’s designation will be removed in exchange for a promise not to harm Americans,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement to the Post on Monday. “We believe the [U.S.] will not abandon its closest allies in exchange for empty promises from terrorists.”
According to a 2012 report from the Anti-Defamation League, the IRGC formed after the 1979 Iranian revolution to protect the new government against foreign and domestic threats.
It has been a source to fill governmental positions from mayors to foreign ambassadors as well as extend its influence to other industries and institutions, the report said.
The group has also been tied to terrorist organizations in the region such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The group was designated a foreign terrorist organization by Donald Trump in 2019, making it the first time the arm of a government has been included on the list.
“This designation will be the first time that the United States has ever named a part of another government as a FTO,” Trump said in a statement at the time. “It underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments. This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime. It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.”
Considering the decision to remove them from the list now is apparently tied to negotiations about the U.S. re-entering the 2015 Obama-era Iran Nuclear Deal that Trump withdrew the United States from in 2018.
According to Reuters, the issue is one of the last of several to be worked out as the administration of President Joe Biden tries to reinvigorate the deal.
Negotiations for removing the organization from the terrorist list began in June, but they have become “more complicated” since the election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as president.