The Biden administration intends to reject Tehran's request to remove Iran's Revolutionary Guards from the U.S. terror blacklist, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.
Citing a senior official for the administration, the Washintgon Post reported that Biden is willing to reject Teheran's request, which was made as part of talks to renew the nuclear deal, even at the risk of thwarting the deal itself.
"The onus is on Iran as to whether we have a nuclear deal. The president will stick to core principles. The Iranians know our views.” the official said.
Earlier this week Secretary of State Anthony Blinken voiced a similar opinion in an interview for NBC News. When asked whether the IRGC is a terrorist organization, Blinken responded: "So, they are," adding that he is not "overly optimistic at the prospects of actually getting [the nuclear] agreement to conclusion.”
The official's comments follow a string of similar statements made this week by several sources in Washington, including the U.S. State Department and the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
According to the Washington Post, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday where he told the Panel: "In my personal opinion, I believe the IRGC Quds Force to be a terrorist organization, and I do not support them being de-listed,"
Milley's statement was then reinforced by the State Department. Speaking in a briefing in Washington on Friday, State Department spokesperson Jalina Porter said that "the president shares the chairman’s view that IRGC Qods Forces are terrorists."
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The United States has been considering removing the IRGC from its foreign terrorist organization blacklist in return for Iranian assurances about reining in the elite force.
The removal of the IRGC from the blacklist is one of the outstanding issues remaining in the talks over a new Iranian nuclear deal.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid condemned the Biden administration's intention to remove the IRGC from the blacklist, citing the IRGC's responsibility for killing U.S. citizens and forces.