Iranian Attacks on U.S. and Its Allies Hit Record Highs

Drone strikes, ballistic missiles, and rocket launches show country's military is stronger than ever

April 13, 2023

Iranian attacks on the United States and its allies hit record highs in 2021 and 2022 as the Biden administration relaxed sanctions on the country, according to a congressional report obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Iran launched a record shattering 750 attacks on American personnel and allies during the Biden administration’s first year in office and more than 600 in 2022, surpassing figures of around 500 per year in 2019 and 2020, according to the report, which sheds light on Tehran’s expanding global terrorism enterprise. The attacks—which include hundreds of drone strikes, ballistic missiles, and rocket launches—indicate that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the country’s paramilitary fighting force, is stronger than ever under the Biden administration.

"Emboldened by weak American leadership, the IRGC has in recent years become more reckless and provocative, threatening America’s allies and partners and bringing the entire Middle East closer to war," former secretary of state Mike Pompeo said in the report, which was unveiled on Thursday as part of a larger congressional effort to increase international pressure on the IRGC. Rep. Claudia Tenney (R., N.Y.) assembled the report with the help of Pompeo and other former senior U.S. officials to help push American allies into designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization, as the United States did in 2019.

The report reveals that the IRGC has nearly 650,000 troops stationed across all of its sectors with a budget of around $5 billion annually. The findings suggest the Biden administration’s efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have made Tehran more destructive. And with new reports indicating the U.S. administration is negotiating a partial return to the nuclear deal that will nix scores of sanctions on Iran, the IRGC is likely to emerge as a top beneficiary.

Along with the report, Tenney is introducing a congressional resolution that urges "the European Union to expeditiously designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization," according to a copy of the measure obtained by the Free Beacon.

The effort is certain to attract bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled House, where lawmakers have already been eying ways to further isolate Tehran over its lethal support to Russia for its war in Ukraine. House Republicans and Democrats are already working to sanction Iran’s senior leadership for human rights crimes, and leaders from both parties, including the White House, have expressed support for cracking down on the Tehran-Moscow military pipeline. Senate Republicans also are pushing European allies to move forward on a long-stalled bid to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, the Free Beacon first reported in March, though Democrats in the upper chamber have not publicly taken a position on the issue.

The IRGC is more involved than previously known in the Tehran-Moscow military pipeline, a finding that is likely to fuel congressional action, particularly as reports emerge that both Russia and China are secretly securing deals to provide Iran with the fuel needed to power its ballistic missiles.

"The IRGC is leading the effort to share military technology for use in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine," according to the report, which says Tehran is also "providing Russia with ballistic missiles for its war in Ukraine."

The IRGC is likely to be instrumental in a February announcement that Iran will get $1 billion to build a drone factory in Russia that will "produce up to 6,000 Iranian-designed drones to use against Ukraine," according to the report.

The IRGC’s principal role in suppressing a wave of anti-regime protests also is detailed in the report.

Since the protests began last year after the killing of a 22-year-old woman at the hands of Iran’s morality police, the IRGC has helped arrest more than 19,000 Iranians and kill at least 529, including 71 children, according to the report.

"The IRGC has played an integral role in suppressing these protests and carrying out these arrests, killings, and executions," it says. "This is in addition to numerous reports and documented evidence of the IRGC using child soldiers as part of the Basij to help suppress the protests." The murder of children and their use in the military are both war crimes under international law.

Outside of Iran’s borders, the IRGC "has inserted itself into virtually every conflict in the Middle East, from Syria and Lebanon to Yemen and Iraq," the report says. "It is, without question, the most destabilizing force in the region"—and is directly responsible for the deaths of more than 600 U.S. service members, primarily in Iraq. The IRGC also provides weapons and training to the region’s leading terror groups, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

IRGC cells are active in America, Europe, and South America, according to the report, which outlines the group’s recent efforts to assassinate U.S. officials and kidnap dissidents, including those residing in America.

"The IRGC," the report says, "is not merely a threat to the Iranian people or just the people of the Middle East—it poses a global threat to peace and security."