What terrorist delisting of Iran’s IRGC would mean for US interests, allies in Middle East

US President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly in the final stages of an attempt to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Insiders claim that Tehran is insisting that Washington agree to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.

The American negotiating team, led by Special Representative for Iran Rob Malley, believes that it can obtain the concessions and guarantees from the Iranian government necessary for preventing it from becoming a nuclear weapons threshold power.

Analysts think a nuclear-capable Iran would significantly empower the IRGC and likely supercharge its asymmetric-warfare campaign throughout the Middle East.

Iran has reportedly been pressing the Biden team to agree to an almost total overhaul of not only economic sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, but those connected to terrorist activities specifically linked to the IRGC.

Sources report that one of Tehran’s conditions to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the nuclear deal, is the removal of the terrorist designation, which equates the IRGC with Daesh, and Al-Qaeda.

The Biden administration has not confirmed the leaks but has made clear it hopes to restore the JCPOA. But there are signs that it may acquiesce to Tehran’s demands.

Critics point to what they see as a serious flaw in the Biden administration’s strategic reasoning.

Michael Doran, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, told Arab News that the deal under consideration by the Biden administration would neither prevent Iran from eventually developing nuclear weapons nor dissuade the IRGC from conducting terror attacks against American and allied interests.

He said: “Biden officials and, before them, (former US President Barack) Obama officials promised us repeatedly that the nuclear deal would not prevent the United States from working to contain the IRGC on the ground in the Middle East.

“Clearly, the nuclear deal is about much more than nuclear weapons. It will remove all meaningful restrictions on Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, thus paving the way to Iran’s early acquisition of a nuclear bomb.”

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