Democrat President Joe Biden is reportedly set to remove five extremist groups from the official Foreign Terrorist Organization list.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly claimed in a notification to Congress that each of the organizations is now defunct.
“The groups include Basque Fatherland and Liberty, also known as ETA; Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese doomsday cult; Kahane Kach, a radical Orthodox Jewish group, as well as two Islamic groups, the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, and Gama’a al-Islamiyya,” Fox News reported.
“The Biden administration dragged out briefings about this for months, then went radio silent, then quietly rushed it through hoping no one would notice until it was a done deal,” a senior Republican congressional aide told the network. “Republicans on the Hill believe this was a dress rehearsal for trying to remove terrorism sanctions on the IRGC.”
The move comes as Biden is reportedly considering lifting the Foreign Terrorist Organization designation on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in exchange for a public commitment from Iran that they will play nice in the region.
“An agreement to restore the 2015 nuclear deal is nearly complete, but Iran’s demand that President Biden reverse Donald Trump’s decision to designate the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization is a key remaining sticking point,” Axios reported. “The IRGC is not only Iran’s most feared military branch, it’s also a powerful political and economic player. The terror designation means that even if Biden lifts nuclear sanctions to return to compliance with the deal, criminal penalties could still be imposed on anyone doing business with individuals or businesses connected to the IRGC.”
The report said that Israel was “concerned about the idea, and in particular, the fact that the U.S. didn’t demand specific commitments from Iran not to target the U.S. and its allies in the region.”
Numerous Biden administration negotiators working on the Iran nuclear deal have quit their roles because they said that the administration was being too weak toward Iran.
Biden removed another Iranian-backed terrorist organization from the list during the opening weeks of his presidency only to see the decision blow up in his face. Not only did Biden lift the terrorist designation on the Yemeni Houthis, he also announced in 2021 that the U.S. would no longer support Saudi Arabia’s war against the terrorists.
The Houthis have since been responsible for numerous attacks in the region.
Related: Iran Plots To Assassinate Ex-Trump Official, Biden Admin Resisting Public Indictments Due To Iran Deal Hopes