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U.S. Congress Considers Labeling IRGC a Terrorist Group | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An image of Iranian leaders is projected on a giant screen in front of demonstrators during a rally opposing the nuclear deal with Iran in Times Square, July 22, 2015. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Washington- U.S. Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Jim Inhofe are pushing for a bill that compels the Department of State to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group, informed U.S. sources said.

A source who preferred to remain anonymous told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Cruz submitted a bill to enlist IRGC as a terrorist group – the anticipated success in this field will facilitate labeling other Shi’ite movements (for example, Houthis) as terrorists too.”

“Other armed Shi’ite movements in Iraq (Popular Mobilization Forces), Lebanon (the so-called Hezbollah) and Yemen (Houthis) are affiliated to the IRGC – Adding them to the same list of the IRGC, is certain,” according to the source.

Cruz submitted on Thursday a bill to enlist the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, as an initial step to add more religious movements and organizations in the Arab region to the list of terror groups.

Asharq Al-Awsat received copies of the two bills on the IRGC and Muslim Brotherhood – the bills mention that the U.S. legal standards for classifying terrorist groups (outside the U.S.) are applicable in the case of IRGC.

The U.S. Department of State shall present a report within 30 days to clarify its stance.

As Cruz proposed the two bills in the upper chamber, Republican Rep. Michael McCaul dropped companion bills in the House.

“As obvious as that seems, for years the IRGC has been allowed to operate clandestinely using front companies and illicit networks to evade formal designation,” he said.

“The Obama Administration has chosen to turn a blind eye to these activities for the sake of a flawed nuclear agreement which Khamenei stated publicly would not alter Iran’s behavior,” he added.