Asked to clarify the US position on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), State Department Spokesperson Ned Price explained that the Biden administration views the IRGC in its entirety, not just its Qods Force (IRGC-QF), as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
The IRGC’s status has emerged as the biggest obstacle to renewing the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, which was concluded under the Barack Obama administration and abrogated by Obama’s successor, Donald Trump.
Trump also added the IRGC to Washington’s FTO list, and Tehran is now demanding that it be removed from that list as a condition for concluding a new version of the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal).
‘FTO Designation Covers Both’ IRGC and IRGC-QF
But it seems that the Biden administration is not prepared to accommodate the Iranian demand.
“My understanding is that the FTO designation covers” both the IRGC and the Qods Force, Price said in a press briefing on Wednesday.
He had been asked directly, “Does the State Department differentiate between the IRGC and the Qods Force?”
The question arose following remarks by Gen. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last Thursday.
In that hearing, on the Defense Department budget, Milley was asked if he considered the IRGC to be a terrorist organization.
He replied, “In my personal opinion, I believe the IRGC-Qods Force to be a terrorist organization, and I do not support them being delisted from the foreign terrorist organization [list].”
Such is the mistrust surrounding what seems to be an unrelenting push by the Biden administration, along with its European partners, to restore the JCPOA that some analysts interpreted Milley’s remarks to indicate that the US would differentiate between the IRGC and the IRGC-QF to satisfy Iran’s demand for taking the IRGC off the FTO list.
However, Price’s comments seemed to suggest that this interpretation was wrong.
This issue arose last week following Milley’s remarks. Deputy State Department Spokesperson Jalina Porter was asked about them on Friday.
She replied, “The President shares the chairman’s view that IRGC Qods Forces are terrorists.
Source » iranbriefing