Marshall Bill Would Give Congress a Say in President Biden Removing Terrorist Designation for Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

(Washington, D.C., March 17, 2022) – Today, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. introduced legislation to ensure Congress has a say in the revocation of Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designations. Currently, the executive branch can take such an action unilaterally. This legislation follows reports that the Biden Administration is considering the removal of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from the FTO list as the U.S. continues to renegotiate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Whether it’s high levels of crime in our city streets or increased threats from abroad, Americans are less safe under the Biden administration. Now, as they continue talks with Iran, Russia, and China on reviving the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, we’ve learned that a potential sweetener the administration has offered Iran is a revocation of the IRGC’s Foreign Terrorist Organization designation. This brutal military organization threatens our close friends in Israel and has a long history of targeting U.S. forces and diplomats, including the most recent missile assault on a U.S. consulate in Iraq. It is unthinkable that this offer would be on the table,” said Senator Marshall. “My bill would provide Congress the ability to block this revocation and prevent the Biden administration from bending the knee to Iranian thugs.”

Background:

Foreign Terrorist Organizations are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State for engaging in terrorist activity. By designating an entity as an FTO, the United States seeks to limit a group’s financial, property, and travel interests. Some of the consequences of receiving such a designation are:

  • It is unlawful for a United States citizen to knowingly provide “material support or resources” to a designated FTO.
  • Individuals who belong to a designated FTO are inadmissible to, and in certain circumstances removable from, the United States.

FTO designations also support U.S. efforts to prevent terrorism financing, deter donations or economic transactions, and demonstrate a heightened concern to other nations.

Under current law, if the President or U.S. Secretary of State moves to revoke a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) designation, such as for Iran or North Korea, Congress has the authority to introduce a Resolution of disapproval to block the removal. Unfortunately, Congress does not have the same authority for FTO’s. This legislation provides Congress with equal authority when it comes to FTO’s as it does with SST’s. Senator Marshall was joined by Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) as an original cosponsor on this legislation.

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