A group of 900 Gold Star family members and wounded military veterans sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him not to give in to Iran’s demands to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the nation’s terror watch list.
The letter, sent April 14, included “grave concerns” over reports that the Biden administration is considering a change to the IRGC’s listing.
“We have grave concerns over published reports that the Biden Administration is considering removing there from the StateDepartment’s Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. In our view, removing the IRGC’sFTOdesignationwould threaten American lives, harm veterans and Gold Star families, and empower a terrorist organization that continues to sponsor and commit attacks against U.S. interests and allies in the Middle East,” the letter stated.
The Gold Star family members shared two major concerns regarding the potential IRGC status change.
The first concern stated that “rescinding the IRGC’s FTO designation would symbolically give the IRGC a green light to target Americans and attack our allies.”
Second, the letter added, “Removing the IRGC’s designation would also damage the credibility of the U.S. designation process, which has been viewed as fact-based and apolitical for two generations.”
The writers also concluded with strong words against Biden’s potential change.
“We therefore urge you–regardless of Iranian demands–not to dishonor the memories of the IRGC’s many American victims, including service members killed while serving their country overseas. Mr. President, no deal with Iran, the world’s foremost State Sponsor of Terrorism, can be worth sacrificing our nation’s honor and symbolically giving the world’s leading terrorist organization a green light to kill more Americans and enhancing its practical ability to do so,” the letter concluded.
The Gold Star families are not alone. Last month, more than 80 House Republicans joined in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken blasting the potential removal of the IRGC from the terror watch list.
“For years the IRGC has supported and participated in numerous human rights abuses and terrorist activities. They should not be removed from the FTO list until they can prove that they have ceased ALL terrorist activity,” Iowa Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, one of the Republicans joining the letter, said in a statement.
“We should only be lifting FTO designations if Iran drastically changes their well-documented support for terrorist groups around the world. By removing the IRGC when it continues to engage in and support acts of terror tells the world that our sanctions carry no weight and are nothing more than political tools that can be cast aside whenever it is convenient,” she added.
In addition, Biden shared a call on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that addressed the issue.
“I am sure that President Biden, who is a true friend of Israel and cares about its security, will not allow the IRGC to be removed from the list of terrorist organizations. Israel has clarified its position on the issue: The IRGC is the largest terrorist organization in the world,” Bennett said in a statement from his office following the call.