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April 6, 2017 5:58 pm

Ex-US Senator Joseph Lieberman: Chemical Weapons Use by Iran-Backed Syrian Regime Shows Urgent Need for US to Designate IRGC as Foreign Terrorist Group

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Former US Senator Joseph Lieberman. Photo: US Congress via Wikimedia Commons.

This week’s suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria — believed to have been carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime — showed why the Trump administration should designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization, a prominent former US senator and vice presidential candidate said on Wednesday.

“The chemical attack in Syria — one of the worst atrocities we have seen in years — was made possible by Iran and Russia’s ongoing support of President Assad,” Joseph Lieberman, the current chairman of the United Against Nuclear Iran advocacy group, stated. “The IRGC is the main means of support — financial and otherwise — for the Syrian regime and terrorist organizations throughout the region. This is why Iran remains, according to the US State Department, the leading state-sponsor of terrorism in the world. The gas attacks in Syria demonstrate the urgent need to designate the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization and show that this behavior will not be tolerated by the United States.”

Lieberman also criticized Boeing over the tentative deal announced last week that, if finalized, would see Iran’s Aseman Airlines buy at least 30 of the American aircraft maker’s 737 MAX jets.

That announcement, Lieberman stated, was “deeply troubling, as increased funds in Iran, even through private Iranian airliners like Aseman Air, could help drive funding to IRGC front companies that support terrorism. The deal, which on the surface seems legitimate, poses severe business risks to American companies.”

“While Iran’s business climate remains tumultuous and continues to support regional atrocities, new investment risks funneling cash to the IRGC, emboldens Assad to commit further attacks, and creates grave human rights risks for civilians — both in Syria and abroad,” he concluded.

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