As the Biden Administration and its allies push to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, the Islamic Republic has indicated that the benefits afforded to them under the new agreement are not sufficient and have demanded more concessions. Iran has asked for the removal of its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from the United Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list. If the United States gives in to this demand, the security of the world’s Jewish community will be threatened, along with the state of Israel.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has a long history of anti-Semitism, human rights abuse, and terrorism. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, headed by Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini, the Iranian Supreme Leader decreed the creation of an Islamic Guardianship that would safeguard and carry out the goals of the revolution. This military entity would only employ young dedicated Shiite men ready to give up their lives for Khomeini’s Revolution and carry out terrorist attacks against Jews, Arabs, and U.S. citizens.
Removing the IRGC from the FTO list is akin to removing the SS and Gestapo from the FTO list. The IRGC, like the SS and Gestapo, is a paramilitary force of a radically antis-Semitic government loyal to one individual, the Supreme Leader, and to the ideals of the Islamic Revolution. The IRGC, like all three of these organizations, has a hatred for Jews and would like nothing more than to kill every single one. Further, the IRGC supports and trains governments and foreign terrorist organizations like Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen, and Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, all of which have one unified goal: the murder of every living Jew on the planet and the destruction of the state of Israel.
One of the most devastating attacks that the IRGC and its proxies like Hezbollah conducted against the Jewish world was the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in March of 1992. The attack killed over 29 people and injured more than 250 others, including Israeli diplomats, children and ordinary civilians. Then, in 1994, the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was bombed by IRGC affiliated terrorists, killing 87 people and injuring 100 more.
The IRGC has been one of the main reasons why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still ongoing due to its military and economic support for Islamic Palestinian groups like the Islamic Jihad and Hamas. The IRGC trains Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbollah members in Lebanon while helping each group coordinate attacks against Israel using missiles and suicide bombings.
Many members of the IRGC, like former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, outright deny that the Holocaust ever happend, or advocate for another genocide against the Jewish people. The IRGC has a powerful presence in Iran’s political system, supporting radical anti-Semitic clerics like Ebrahim Raisi, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Hassan Rouhani, and suppressing Iranian protesters who challenged the government’s claim that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “won” the 2009 presidential election.
The Trump Adminstration’s designation of the IRGC as a terrorist group was the correct move, and should have occurred earlier. The IRGC’s current designation essentially warned and prevented foreign financial institutions and companies from engaging with the primary military arm of the Islamic Republic, putting pressure on its leaders. The combination of economic sanctions and the death of the IRGC’s primary military commander, Qasem Soleimani, helped cripple morale within the IRGC and avenge many of the Jewish, American, and Arabic victims of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards devastating attacks.
For the Biden Administration to even consider caving to Iran’s demands in exchange for Tehran promising to de-escalate in the region is foolhardy and only appeases the Mullahs. Iran understands that if the U.S. concedes to their demand, they will be able to attract new foreign investors and revitalize the IRGC.
Asking the IRGC to disingage from its terrorist activities once removed from the FTO list is the modern day version of the European’s appeasment strategy towards Hitler. Such a radical concession would reinvigorate the IRGC and allow them to commit more deadly terrorist attacks against Israel, either in Syria or through its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas.
The Biden Administration should listen to the calls from Israeli government officials like Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who correctly points out that the IRGC is the cause of so much chaos and turmoil in the Middle East. Given that the primary mission of the IRGC is to wipe out the state of Israel and the Jewish people, the Biden Administration should not give in to Iran’s demands and instead stand alongside Israel to deter this terrorist entity.
Israel’s Arab allies in Morocco, Egypt, Bahrain, and Jordan also reject the push to rec-lassify the IRGC, arguing that the organization is an agent of chaos. Going forward, the administration must conduct a maximum pressure campaign on the IRGC using economic sanctions and other means. Any alternative strategy would threaten the safety and security of Jewish people throughout the world.
“The views expressed in this post reflect the views of the author(s) and not UCLA or ASUCLA Communications Board.”