Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, re-introduced legislation today calling on the Department of State to formally designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Qods Force (IRGC-QF) as a foreign terrorist organization. This long-standing priority of Chairman McCaul was also included in a second piece of legislation introduced today by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce.
Chairman McCaul's Qods Force Terrorist Designation Act would allow prosecutors to bring new charges against anyone providing "material support or resources" to the IRGC-QF. That includes money, ID, lodging, training, weapons, transportation, etc. The penalty for providing support is up to 15 years to life in prison on top of any other criminal charges. In addition, any foreign member of the Qods Force can be deported for no other reason than for being a member and banks must freeze any funds tied to FTOs.
The Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, introduced by Chairman Royce and cosponsored by Chairman McCaul, was introduced on the heels of Rep. McCaul's legislation.
"It is time to call Iran's Qods Force what it is: a foreign terrorist organization," Chairman McCaul said. "This designation is long overdue and I applaud Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel for heeding my long-standing call to aggressively target the Qods Force as part of a comprehensive sanctions strategy against the Iranian regime. For too long the U.S. has not taking the threat of the IRGC-QF seriously and so I hope Congress will act swiftly to do what the administration hasn't."
Iran's Qods Force is behind some of the deadliest terrorist attacks of the past three decades, including the killing of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 American military personnel, the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, the 1983 and 1984 bombings on the U.S. Embassy and annex in Beirut, and the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 299 American and French servicemen.