The United Arab Emirates is reportedly "shocked" that the United States is considering the removal of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its terrorist organization list to move talks about re-entering the Iran Nuclear Deal forward.
The Jerusalem Post reported Monday that a source in Abu Dhabi said some people there "are in great shock," viewing such a removal from the terrorist list as Israel does.
"[I] find it hard to believe that the IRGC's designation will be removed in exchange for a promise not to harm Americans," Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement to the Post on Monday. "We believe the [U.S.] will not abandon its closest allies in exchange for empty promises from terrorists."
The IRGC formed after the 1979 Iranian revolution to protect the new government against foreign and domestic threats, according to a 2012 report from the Anti-Defamation League.
The organization is a powerful force in the country and has served as a source to fill governmental positions from mayors to foreign ambassadors, as well as extending its influence at the top of other industries and institutions, the report said.
The group has also been linked to terrorist organizations in the region like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In 2019, then President Donald Trump designated the group as a foreign terrorist organization, making it the first time naming the arm of a government to the list.
"This designation will be the first time that the United States has ever named a part of another government as a FTO," Trump said in a statement at the time. "It underscores the fact that Iran's actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments. This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime. It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism."
Considering the move to remove them from the list now is apparently tied to negotiations about the U.S. re-entering the 2015 Obama-era Iran Nuclear Deal that Trump withdrew the United States from in 2018.
According to a March 16 Reuters report, the issue is one of the last of several to be ironed out as the administration of President Joe Biden tries to breathe new life into the deal.
The report said that negotiating the removal of the military organization from the terrorist list dates back to June but has become "more complicated" since the election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as president.
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