In a bold move, a coalition of 124 U.S. Members of Congress, led by Reps. Kathy Manning, Tom Kean Jr., and Bill Keating, have taken a significant and determined step in the ongoing fight against Iranian and IRGC terrorism.
In a letter addressed to Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the group urges the EU to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. This follows the European Parliament's overwhelming vote on January 18, in which 598 members supported the measure while only nine opposed it.
The Florida congressional delegation demonstrated their commitment to this critical issue. Reps. John Rutherford, Michael Waltz, Cory Mills, Darren Soto, Laurel Lee, Lois Frankel, Jared Moskowitz, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and María Elvira Salazar added their signatures to the letter.
Not one member of the so-called "Squad"—Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, and Rashida Tlaib—signed the letter, provoking inquiries about their viewpoints on Iran's proxy conflicts with Israel and their stance on the IRGC.
It remains to be seen whether the Squad's decision not to sign the letter indicates a reluctance to confront Iran's support for groups that actively target Israel or if it reflects a differing opinion on the most effective approach to address the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' activities.
Despite the strong backing in the European Parliament, the EU Foreign Affairs Council has not yet implemented the terrorist designation. The letter emphasizes that Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror, with the IRGC openly carrying out plots targeting citizens in countries across the EU.
The letter cites a recent study by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, which revealed that Iran has instigated at least 33 plots to surveil, abduct, or assassinate citizens in Europe within the last five years. The Members of Congress believe there is sufficient evidence for the EU to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, given the European Court of Justice's ruling that investigations and prosecutions outside the EU may be used as evidence.
The letter also provides an in-depth analysis of several recent incidents linked to the IRGC, including assassination plots both in and outside the EU, which qualify as "terrorist acts" under EU law. Notably, German authorities are pursuing prosecution against IRGC-linked individuals responsible for plotting attacks against synagogues in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The Members of Congress hope that the upcoming meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council will give due consideration to this critical issue, stressing the IRGC's involvement in human rights abuses and terrorist activities. The decision to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization would have significant implications for the Jewish community, given the organization's role in plotting attacks against synagogues and other Jewish institutions in Europe.
If the EU were to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, it would send a strong message to Iran and the world that it stands against terrorism and human rights abuses. The Jewish community and all citizens in the EU would benefit from the increased security and deterrence that such a designation would provide. Furthermore, this move would encourage a united front among democratic nations to counter the growing threat posed by the IRGC and Iran's expansionist agenda. By taking this decisive action, the EU would reaffirm its commitment to safeguarding human rights and promoting regional peace and stability.