The administration is currently considering listing Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its Quds Force as terrorist organizations, but there are fears that such a move would affect US forces in Iraq. The increasing influence of Hezbollah, backed by Iran, is also a growing concern for Washington.
Asharq Al-Awsat spoke with US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook on Washington’s strategy against Tehran and its efforts to isolate Hezbollah, as well as ongoing negotiations between the EU and the United States to reach a comprehensive political agreement over a policy to deal with Iran.
Hook noted that over the past year, there has been a wide debate among members of Congress and administration officials about listing the IRGC and the Quds Force as terrorist entities. The point of contention was that if the Palestinian Hamas movement and Lebanese Hezbollah party were among the targets, the Quds Force and the Revolutionary Guard should also be included. But the US official stressed that he would not anticipate any decisions concerning the inclusion of certain groups as terrorist.
Asked about the priorities of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his Beirut visit, Hook said that Hezbollah and threats against Israel would top his meetings with the Lebanese leaders. The diplomat will talk about the party as a terrorist organization supported by the Iranian regime, he emphasized.
Hook told Asharq Al-Awsat that historically, Iran has funded Hezbollah with $700 million a year, and as a result Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon have been getting more money than Iranian fighters themselves.
The US is asking Iran to stop wasting its people’s resources by spending on terrorist organizations, he said.
Read more: A Awsat
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