(New York, N.Y.) – The U.S. State Department has reportedly launched an inquiry into an allegation that Qatar’s royal family has supplied funds to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The investigation into Qatar’s alleged terror finance activities was reportedly opened after President Joe Biden was briefed on the intelligence last month by Israeli leaders at the White House.
The IRGC is responsible for killing more than 600 American military personnel. Pro-Iran militias tied to the IRGC have also repeatedly attacked U.S. and allied forces in the region, and a November 2019 Fox News report claimed Qatar had advance knowledge of an Iranian attack on four commercial vessels in the Gulf of Oman on May 12, 2019, and may have failed to warn its U.S., French, and British allies. “Credible intelligence reports indicate that the IRGC-Quds Forces Naval unit is responsible for the Fujairah Port attacks, and the elements of civilian government of Iran, as well as the State of Qatar, were aware of the IRGC’s activities,” the report said.
Qatari financial support to the IRGC would align with Qatar’s previous positions on Iran. In 2019, Qatar joined Turkey in objecting to the U.S. designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization. Qatar was also one of six nations chosen by the Iranian regime in December 2020 to represent the Islamic Republic in an international legal dispute against the United States for the January 2020 assassination of IRGC-Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. Former Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani also paid a $57 million ransom to Syrian militias for the release of captured IRGC fighters in 2012.
To read the Counter Extremism Project (CEP)’s Qatar resource, please click here.
To read CEP’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) resource, please click here.