President Donald Trump’s announcement that his administration will designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) is garnering strong support from Republicans in the Florida congressional delegation.
Marco Rubio, who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, applauded the announcement.
“The Trump administration deserves credit for designating the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, which is something that the U.S. should have done years ago,” Florida's senior senator said Monday. “In addition to seeking nuclear and missile capabilities, the Iranian regime remains the world’s biggest State Sponsor of Terrorism and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan. To make good on his maximum pressure strategy, President Trump should go further by ending sanctions waivers in support of foreign purchasers of Iranian oil as well as foreign countries engaged in nuclear cooperation with Iran under the flawed nuclear deal that the U.S. withdrew from last May.”
Freshman U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., the first Green Beret to serve in Congress and a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, took to the national airwaves Tuesday morning, backing Trump’s designation.
Waltz appeared on “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel where he praised the decision.
“I think this is absolutely right to go after the IRGC,” Waltz said. “You have to remember they report directly to the supreme leader, they run themselves just like the mafia. Some estimate upwards of 20 percent of the Iranian economy is run through businesses controlled by the IRGC, and this allows us to go after anyone who is doing business with them, they’re put on notice. We have to continue to squeeze the Iranian regime economically so they can’t finance terror all over the Middle East.”
Staying on the topic of Iran, Waltz called on letting six month waivers that eight countries have used to import Iranian oil expire when those waivers end next month.
“The Achilles’ heel of Iran is not its military, it is its economy,” Waltz said. “That’s how it finances these surrogate groups all over the world, and that’s what the president knows and that is what he is going after.”