We Must Recognize Terrorism For What It Is
For years, U.S. policy towards Iran has emboldened a hardline regime that has demonstrated nothing but hostility towards peace and prosperity in the Middle East. As they’ve exported violence and undermined our interests throughout the region, this regime has often looked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a means of doing so.
The State Department estimates the IRGC spends $1 billion a year in support of terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere. It’s no surprise then that the IRGC has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers. In fact, a startling new report from the Pentagon actually raised the estimate of the number of American troops killed by Iran-backed militias in Iraq to 603. That’s roughly 17 percent of all U.S. personnel deaths in Iraq from 2003-2011. We must hold them accountable.
By now, we should have learned that pretending the IRGC isn’t a terrorist organization hasn’t led to moderation of the Iranian regime—although many people could have predicted that long before President Obama signed his deal with Iran in 2015. President Obama’s flawed approach to Iran all stemmed from a failure to simply acknowledge reality. That’s why President Trump’s action earlier this week to designate the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) is an important step forward for U.S. foreign policy. As President Trump said: this simply recognizes the reality that the IRGC actively promotes terrorism.
We need to make it unequivocally clear to Iran and all our adversaries that the U.S. will not tolerate acts of terror against us or our allies. Rep. Gallagher has long called for the IRGC to be designated as a FTO, and co-sponsored H.R. 380 in the last Congress to ensure that such action could not be undone by a future president. As we saw with President Obama’s failed Iranian Nuclear Deal, Congress should have a greater say in major foreign policy decisions. We must come together to ensure that the price the Iranian regime pays for violent tactics is further isolation and increased pain.