DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Michael T. McCaul
Sent By: brandon.batch@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 3646
Date: 11/30/2015

Combat Iranian Terror: Designate the IRGC as a Terrorist Organization

Current Cosponsors: Bishop, Carter (TX), Coffman, Duncan (SC), Johnson (OH), Kline, Latta, McClintock, Miller (MI), Olson,Peterson (MN), Poe, Rohrabacher, Roskam, Vela, Weber, Westmorland

Please join me in cosponsoring H.R. 3646, the bipartisan IRGC Terrorist Designation Act to require the Secretary of State to determine whether the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) should be designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

The IRGC is behind some of the deadliest terrorist attacks of the past three decades, including the killing of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 American military personnel, the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, the 1983 and 1984 bombings on the U.S. Embassy and annex in Beirut, and the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 299 American and French servicemen.

Iranian terror must be combatted. The United States should call the IRGC for what it is: a terrorist organization committed to killing Americans and our allies all over the world.  The President claims that sanctions against Iran for its support for terrorism will continue to be enforced in spite of his deal to lift sanctions on the Ayatollah’s nuclear program.  Designating Iran’s IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization would go a long way in demonstrating that the President is truly committed to combatting Iranian terror.

According to the State Department, the IRGC and its Qods Force “is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.”  The IRGC and its senior officials are already sanctioned by the U.S. for its support of terrorism, human rights abuses and narcotics trafficking, but the organizations has not been explicitly designated as an FTO which would allow prosecutors to bring new charges against anyone providing “material support or resources” to the IRGC.  The penalty for providing support is up to 15 years to life in prison on top of any other criminal charges. In addition, any foreign member of the IRGC can be deported for no other reason for being a member and banks must freeze any funds tied to FTOs.

As part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, Congress passed nonbinding language which called for the IRGC to be designated as an FTO. In 2013, the House passed even stronger language in the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act to require the IRGC to be designated, but that bill was blocked in the Senate.

This legislation is especially important in light of the fact that the Iran nuclear agreement lifts sanctions on the IRGC and its senior officials, including Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, who recently visited Russia in violation of U.N. travel bans.  Senator Cruz has a companion bill in the Senate.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact brandon.batch@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Michael McCaul

Member of Congress