On April 26th, the American Jewish Congress sent a letter to the Department of State where we advocated against removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), either before or in conjunction with any new nuclear agreement with Iran.

You can find the full text of the letter HERE.

At the American Jewish Congress, our sentiment on this issue has remained steadfast. The IRGC has held at its core an ambition to destroy the democratic principles that our country holds dear and has touted its so-called superiority through fear-mongering, senseless brutality, and unjust provocations of war. The threats stemming from Iran and its proxies have jeopardized American Interests, Israel’s security, and the safety of Jewish Communities worldwide.

While we support the diplomatic process, we recognize that the world has become an unpredictable and evolving battleground. In serving as a beacon of hope, freedom, and strength to so many worldwide, the United States cannot allow the IRGC to be portrayed as anything other than what they are – terrorists.

You can find Acting Secretary Lempert’s reply HERE or below:

Dear Mr. Rosen,

Thank you for the letter from the [American Jewish Congress] Board outlining your concerns about Iran’s destabilizing and dangerous activities and the nuclear negotiations.  I appreciate your engagement on this critical issue of national and regional security.

The Department of State shares your concerns over the danger that Iran’s nuclear program poses to the United States and our partners. An unrestricted Iranian nuclear program risks an escalating nuclear crisis and a greatly increased threat to U.S. citizens, interests, and partners in the region. The Administration’s commitment to Israel’s security is sacrosanct, and we have been transparent with Israel throughout the negotiations, knowing that we share a common interest:  ensuring that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon.  We believe diplomacy, in coordination with our allies and regional partners, is the best path to achieve that goal.

That said, the Administration is preparing equally for scenarios with and without a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA.  In either scenario, the U.S. government would maintain a range of tools that we will continue to use to confront Iran and the IRGC’s destabilizing role in the region.

Thank you again for your letter. We value your perspective and appreciate hearing your views.

All my best,

Yael Lempert
Acting Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
U.S. Department of State

We appreciate Acting Assistant Secretary Lempert for considering our concerns. Our team at the American Jewish Congress will continue to work towards making a difference on issues of such critical importance.

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.