May 25, 2022 by Aryeh Savir – TPS
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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett commended the Biden administration on the decision to keep the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) “in their rightful place” – on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list.
“President Biden is a true friend of Israel who is committed to its strength and security,” Bennett stated Tuesday night.
President Donald Trump announced in April 2019 his Administration’s move to designate the IRGC, including its Qods Force (QF), as an FTO. This designation is the first time that the US has ever named a part of another government as an FTO.
Over the past few months, Israel made its stance clear, that “the IRGC is the world’s largest terror organization, involved in planning and carrying out deadly acts of terror and destabilizing the Middle East,” said Bennett.
“This is the right, moral and correct decision by President Biden,” Bennett said, who updated him on this decision during their last conversation on 24 April.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated Wednesday that the decision is “an important expression of the United States’ commitment to security and stability in the Middle East in general and to the strategic alliance between the United States and Israel in particular. Continuing to promote the Abraham Accords, deepening and expanding them, as well as the common fight against terrorism and extremism are at the heart of our relationship.”
The IRGC is an independent military force accountable to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. A branch of the IRGC, the Qods Force, was commanded by the notorious General Qassem Soleimani and is responsible for spreading Iran’s subversive activities and terrorism across the Middle East and to other points around the globe. The IRGC is Iran’s primary tool to implement its global terrorist campaign, including through the Hezbollah and Hamas terror organisations.
The US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism for 2020, published in December 2021, stated that the IRGC “remained the primary Iranian actors involved in supporting terrorist recruitment, financing, and plots across Europe, Africa, and Asia, and both Americas.”
Iran “continued to use the IRGC-QF to advance Iran’s interests abroad. Iran also continued to acknowledge the active involvement of the IRGC-QF in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, the latter in support of the Assad regime. Through the IRGC-QF, Iran continued its support to several US-designated terrorist groups, providing funding, training, weapons, and equipment,” the report stated.
“Among the groups receiving support from Iran are Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, al-Ashtar Brigades and Saraya al-Mukhtar in Bahrain, and Kata’ib Hizballah and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) in Iraq. Iran also provided weapons and support to other militant groups in Iraq and Syria, to the Houthis in Yemen, and to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Iran-backed militias escalated the pace of attacks on Embassy Baghdad and Iraqi bases hosting the US and other Defeat-ISIS forces,” the report added.