Axios: US considering deal to remove IRGC from 'terror list'
The Biden administration is considering removing Iran's IRGC from its "terror blacklist" in exchange for commitments from Tehran.
The US administration is currently considering the removal of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps from its terror blacklist in exchange for a commitment from Iran to "de-escalate" in the region, according to Axios.
One of the remaining points in the Vienna Talks is the removal of IRGC's designation as a terror group. The terror designation means that criminal penalties would be imposed on anyone doing business with any individual or entity connected to the IRGC.
However, since the IRGC designation is not related to the nuclear deal, there would have to be an agreement separate from the JCPOA. In order to get around this, one idea being discussed by Biden's administration is for the US to reserve the right to redesignate the IRGC if Washington believes Iran did not abide by its pledge to de-escalate in the region.
"Israel" is concerned about the idea, and when former VP Mike Pence visited it last week, he told Israeli PM Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid that Biden is planning on delisting the IRGC in return for a narrow commitment that Americans would not be targeted.
However, a source from the State Department told Axios “It should not be a surprise to anyone that descriptions of our talks from critics not involved in the process are inaccurate."
The State Department said that no decision has been made on the IRGC designation, but if that does happen, it will remain on a separate terror list and subject to numerous sanctions. The US will still have a "panoply of tools to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities," the source said.
The uproar from Republicans regarding such a move notwithstanding, one US official said it's clear that Trump and Pence's withdrawal from the JCPOA and the maximum pressure campaign have been "a clear failure", because "Iran has only increased its nuclear activity and regional aggression."