On Friday, the Biden Administration announced that it would be removing at least five known terrorist organizations from the official foreign terror blacklist.
Fox News reports that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken notified Congress of the administration’s decision, claiming that the five groups in question are all defunct. Removed from the list are two Islamic terror groups, the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, and Gama’a al-Islamiyya; a Japanese doomsday cult called Aum Shinrikyo; a radical Orthodox Jewish group known as Kahane Kach; and the Spanish separatist group Basque Fatherland and Liberty.
Some have speculated that the announcement could be a precursor to the Biden White House eventually announcing its plans to remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the same list, as the administration continues to pure diplomatic relations with the radical Islamic theocracy.
“The Biden administration dragged out briefings about this for months, then went radio silent, then quietly rushed it through hoping no one would notice until it was a done deal,” said a senior Republican congressional aide. “Republicans on the Hill believe this was a dress rehearsal for trying to remove terrorism sanctions on the IRGC.”
It is widely believed that the end goal of such a move with regards to Iran would be to ultimately negotiate a new nuclear deal with Iran. Barack Obama had previously agreed to such a deal, which ultimately gave Iran access to the materials needed to build nuclear weapons with almost no supervision or restrictions, a move that proved widely unpopular with the American people. President Donald Trump ultimately withdrew the United States from the deal.
But despite Biden’s repeated signaling in favor of a new deal, the Iranian government is much less willing to negotiate this time; as such, a removal of the IRGC from the terror list would be seen as an attempt to appease the government to convince them to return to the negotiating table.