U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., today joined 75 other senators in calling for the U.S. State Department to designate the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.
“This Iranian organization is actively aiding and supplying those who attack American troops in Iraq,” said Alexander, a cosponsor of the amendment. “General Petraeus warned us about Iran’s activities in Iraq, and this is one way we can ratchet up the pressure on Iranian leaders to change their ways.”
The measure was authored by U.S. Senators Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn.
According to testimony by General David Petraeus, the top U.S. general in Iraq, before the Senate earlier this month, “It is increasingly apparent to both Coalition and Iraqi leaders that Iran, through the use of the Iranian [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] Qods Force, seeks to turn the Iraqi Special Groups into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq.”
At the same hearing, United States Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said, “Iran plays a harmful role in Iraq. While claiming to support Iraq in its transition, Iran has actively undermined it by providing lethal capabilities to the enemies of the Iraqi state.”
The amendment, adopted to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, does not authorize or support specific military action against the government or territory of Iran. The State Department designation, encouraged by the Senate vote, would allow increased economic pressure on Iran and expressly on this organization that is harming American forces in Iraq. It passed the Senate by a vote of 76 to 22.