“Iran is without a doubt one of the greatest threats to the world today, and particularly to Israel, the United States, and global Jewish communities.”
WASHINGTON —“Today, I am formally announcing my administration’s plan to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including its Quds Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act,” U.S. President Donald Trump stated on Monday.
It is the first time that a part of a foreign state has been officially designated as a terrorist group.
The designation will take effect on April 15, and that doing so is “recognizing a basic reality,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
The IRGC has been a main part of Iran’s ambitions for regional hegemony through its presence in countries such as Syria and Iraq, assisting the regime’s proxies, including Hezbollah.
The U.S. move is part of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran since withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions lifted under it, in addition to enacting new financial and other penalties.
Leading American Jewish and pro-Israel advocacy groups praised the Trump administration’s decision.
“The IRGC has provided support and assistance to terrorist organizations and has fostered instability in the region,” said Arthur Stark, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “Clearly, US sanctions on Iran are having an impact, and this additional measure will place added pressure on the regime.”
They expressed hope that “other countries will soon follow suit and recognize that the IRGC serves as a destructive and destabilizing force throughout the Middle East and beyond.”
American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris said : ‘’Recognition of the IRGC as a key arm of Iran’s global terrorism strategy is vitally important to the U.S., which first designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1984. We applaud President Trump for
AIPAC called the IRGC “the principal instrument of the Iranian regime’s policy of international terrorism and regional aggression” and noted that it was “responsible for the death of hundreds of American troops in Iraq.”
It also highlighted the IRGC’s role in backing the Assad regime in Syria and aiding the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said President Trump ‘’has taken a courageous and unrivaled step today in forcefully calling out terrorism by its name and making it clear to the world that Iran’s ideology of violence and oppression will not be tolerated or sanctioned in any way by the United States.’’’
He urged the international community to follow the US’ lead and ‘’treat Iran’s Revolutionary Guard exactly for what it is, a terrorist militia that thrives on repression and blood.’
“Iran is without a doubt one of the greatest threats to the world today, and particularly to Israel, the United States, and global Jewish communities. Through its long arm, it finances terror and international crime across continents, subverts any semblance of democracy or civil rights within its own borders, and holds the key to some of the deadliest weaponry known to man, with the stated intention of destroying the Jewish state and its nemeses in the West,” Lauder added.