Washington Examiner

GOP senators urge Biden to keep Iran revolutionary guard's terrorist designation

By Mike Brest

More than a dozen Republican lawmakers are urging President Joe Biden against removing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps's (IRGC) terrorist designation.

The lawmakers wrote a letter to Biden dated Monday, in which they say that such a decision would “be wildly misguided” as it “would betray our partners and allies in the region.”

Their correspondence follows reports that the Biden administration is considering such a move because it has remained a key sticking point in the negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement.

“Moreover, the removal of this terrorist designation from an organization that continues to carry out acts of terror will undoubtedly show the world that the United States's terrorist designations are political tools that this Administration is willing to barter and trade whenever it suits its political gains,” the letter reads.

The senators who signed the letter are Mike Braun, Bill Cassidy, Mike Crapo, Ted Cruz, Steve Daines, Joni Ernst, Lindsey Graham, Bill Hagerty, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Kennedy, Roger Marshall, Tim Scott, Thom Tillis, and Roger Wicker.

Last week, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said he believed the group to “be a terrorist organization,” and he explained that he doesn’t support them getting the designation revoked.

Biden’s push to reenter an agreement similar to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which intends to cap Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for a rollback of international sanctions and was later abandoned by the Trump administration in 2018, has sparked bipartisan concerns.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “time is getting extremely short,” in an interview last week, adding that he’s “not overly optimistic at the prospects of actually getting an agreement to conclusion, despite all the efforts we put into it and despite the fact that I believe we would be — our security would be better off.”

The State Department previously said that no decision had been made and “any speculation to the contrary is simply uninformed,” following a report last month that they were considering the move.