U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today reintroduced two bills, alongside Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Florida) respectively, that will protect Americans from the threat of radical Islamic terror, directing the State Department to hold accountable both the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Muslim Brotherhood, two foreign entities that espouse a violent Islamist ideology with a mission of destroying the West. Both bills require a report on whether these organizations meet the criteria to be designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and if so, will enable the U.S. to take action that could stifle the funding they receive to promote their terrorist activities.
The IRGC Terrorist Designation Act, introduced with Congressman McCaul who has filed companion legislation in the House of Representatives, urges the U.S. Department of State to designate Iran's IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. Likewise, the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, introduced with Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart who has filed companion legislation in the House of Representatives, urges the U.S. Department of State to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.
"I am proud to reintroduce these bills that would codify needed reforms in America's war against radical Islamic terrorism," Sen. Cruz said. "This potent threat to our civilization has intensified under the Obama administration due to the willful blindness of politically-correct policies that hamper our safety and security. A grand détente with the Muslim Brotherhood and a blind eye to the IRGC are not pathways to peace in this struggle; they guarantee the ultimate success of our enemy. It is time to call this enemy by its name and speak with clarity and moral authority."
The IRGC Terrorist Designation Act
The IRGC serves as both a military and economic stronghold for the Iranian regime, and is their primary means to execute terrorist attacks. The U.S. Treasury Department has designated the IRGC-Quds Force for its involvement in terrorism, however the State Department has yet to take action.
"If a foreign organization looks like a terror group, operates like a terror group, and supports terrorism, then it should be called for what it is -- a foreign terrorist organization," Congressman McCaul said. "As obvious as that seems, for years the IRGC has been allowed to operate clandestinely using front companies and illicit networks to evade formal designation. The Obama Administration has chosen to turn a blind eye to these activities for the sake of a flawed nuclear agreement which Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei stated publicly would not alter Iran's behavior. As a result, the Iranian-Quds Force continues to fund and train terrorist proxies abroad, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, putting our allies in the region at risk and betraying U.S. national security interests. The time to hold the Ayatollahs accountable is long overdue and this legislation is a step in the right direction."
Designating the IRGC will put the Ayatollah and the international community on notice that the United States will not allow the murderous rampages of jihadist groups to go unpunished. As a result of the recent deal the United States negotiated with Iran -- the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- IRGC-owned and affiliated companies have greater access to the global financial system, which will in turn lend increased economic support to the IRGC's terrorist activities. We must mitigate this damage by placing the IRGC as a whole on the FTO list, signaling to U.S. and foreign financial institutions and companies who facilitate or conduct business with the IRGC that they may be held liable. Any effort that allows financing to flow to the IRGC is an act to subsidize terror.
The Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act
The U.S. has officially listed individual members, branches, and charities of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists, such as Hamas, al Qaeda, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but has not designated the organization as a whole. The intent of the Brotherhood is stated within its Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America; "The process of settlement is a Civilization-Jihad process The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers "
"I am proud to once again work with Senator Cruz to introduce this legislation in the 115th Congress. The Muslim Brotherhood continues to support terrorist organizations that are responsible for acts of violence around the world," Congressman Diaz-Balart said. "This bill would impose tough sanctions on a hateful group that has spread violence and spawned extremist movements throughout the Middle East. This designation is long overdue, and I look forward to working with the incoming administration and the appropriate committees to ensure that this bill becomes law. We have an incoming president who appreciates the threat of terrorism and has vowed to defeat it. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization is an important step in defeating violent extremists."