Though the State Department has long labeled Iran the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, it has never before classified a branch of a foreign government’s military as a terrorist group.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is a powerful branch of Iran’s Armed Forces and, along with its Quds Force, supports terrorists elsewhere in the world, guides Iran’s global proxies, carries out cyberattacks and assassinations, funds missile development, and wields huge influence both inside the country and around the region.
The Treasury Department took a step in this direction in 2017, when it labeled the Revolutionary Guard as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, which made it easier for the U.S. to combat Iran’s terrorism funding by targeting its financing.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly wanted to label the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group since he accepted the job.
A GOP aide told the Washington Examiner that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, “is well-known to be planning an even broader set of sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for this Congress that will build on his last effort, in which redundant sanctions for their activities would be layered on.”
Cruz has been a prominent voice pushing for the Revolutionary Guard to be designated a terrorist group, introducing bills during both the Obama and Trump administrations. Cruz first introduced the IRGC Designation Act in 2015, saying that “for more than three decades, Iran’s IRGC has been a leading proponent of radical Islamic terrorism around the globe.” He introduced it again in 2017, saying: “It is time to call this enemy by name and speak with clarity and moral authority.”
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
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