The American Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, spoke on Thursday, as
staffagainst the removal of the Quds Force, an elite unit of the Guardians in charge of external operations, from the American blacklist of
foreign terrorist organizations.
Asked whether this opinion reflected the position of the government of Joe Biden, a spokeswoman for American diplomacy, Jalina Porter, seemed to agree on Friday.
President agrees with Chief of Staff’s view that Revolutionary Guards Quds Force is terroristshe told reporters.
The Guardians as a whole, as well as the Quds Force more specifically, were blacklisted under President Donald Trump, who wanted to toughen sanctions against Iran after it withdrew Washington from the 2015 agreement supposed to prevent Tehran to acquire the atomic bomb.
While the Biden administration has been trying for a year to resuscitate this agreement, negotiations with Iran are particularly stumbling on this issue. The Iranian authorities are demanding that the Guardians be removed from the blacklist, which has sparked outrage among part of the American political class, especially within the right-wing opposition.
Separating the Quds Force from the Guardians?
The fact that General Milley and now more officially the US government seem to distinguish between the Guardians and their unit, which is blamed for many
destabilizing activities in the Middle East, could outline an American compromise proposal. It is indeed theoretically possible to remove the Revolutionary Guards from the blacklist while keeping the Quds Force on it.
The American negotiator Rob Malley had affirmed at the end of March that the ideological army of the Islamic Republic would remain
sanctioned by US law even if there is an agreement and that the United States’ perception of it would remain unchanged.
According to several experts, this declaration does not necessarily mean that the Americans refuse to remove the Guardians from their blacklist, because their leaders would remain under the blow of other sanctions anyway.
blacklistings decided by the Biden administration in connection with Iran, 86specifically target people linked to the Guardians or their affiliates”,”text”:”I would like to remind you that of the 107 blacklistings decided by the Biden administration in connection with Iran, 86 specifically target people linked to the Guardians or their affiliates”}}”>I would like to recall that of the 107 blacklisted entries decided by the Biden administration in connection with Iran, 86 specifically target people linked to the Guardians or their affiliates.Jalina Porter said on Friday, seeming to confirm this interpretation.
However, she reiterated that an Iranian nuclear deal was not
neither imminent nor certain at this stage.