Iran's IRGC will remain on terrorist blacklist, Biden told Bennett - report

Biden reportedly informed Bennett of his decision during a phone conversation between the two in April.

Iranians burn Israeli and US flags during a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran April 29, 2022 (photo credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY/REUTERS)
Iranians burn Israeli and US flags during a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran April 29, 2022
(photo credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY/REUTERS)

US President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Naftali Bennett last month that his decision to keep Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of designated foreign terrorist organizations (FTO) is final, Politico reported on Tuesday citing a senior western official.

According to the report, Biden decided to pull the plug on the idea to remove the IRGC's Quds Force from the US' terrorist blacklist after it was clear it would not be enough to force Iran to compromise in talks to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Biden reportedly informed Bennett of his decision during a phone conversation between the two in April, when Bennett formally invited the US president to visit Israel, an invitation Biden accepted.

Bennett and other Israeli leaders have been publicly voicing their strong opposition to delisting the IRGC for the past six weeks, along with top Emirati and Bahraini officials.

 US PRESIDENT Joe Biden greets Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the Oval Office at the White House last year. Would Bennett benefit from a Biden visit to Israel? (credit: SARAHBETH MANEY/POOL VIA REUTERS) US PRESIDENT Joe Biden greets Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the Oval Office at the White House last year. Would Bennett benefit from a Biden visit to Israel? (credit: SARAHBETH MANEY/POOL VIA REUTERS)

According to State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter, Biden shares the view that members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force are terrorists and had no plans to remove them from the FTO list.

"Out of the 107 Biden administration designations in relation to Iran, 86 have specifically targeted the IRGC-related persons"

State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter

The US ignited fears that it is "preparing" for the removal of the IRGC from the blacklist when it removed five defunct terror organizations, including the radical Jewish right-wing Kach Movement, from the FTO list.