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United States labels Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group

United States labels Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group”

The US administration announced on Monday that it will designate Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organisation.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard troops march in a military parade marking the 36th anniversary of Iraq's 1980 invasion of Iran in 2016.

It's the first time the US has declared an element of a foreign government to be a terrorist organization, the Trump administration says.

In addition to those complications, American commanders are concerned that the designation may prompt Iran to retaliate against USA forces in the region, and those commanders plan to warn US troops remaining in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere of that possibility, according to a third USA official.

Washington-Tehran tensions have risen since Mr Trump withdrew the U.S. from the global Iran nuclear pact.

The designation will introduce new sanctions, freeze assets and ban Americans from doing business with the group. While a number of military, engineering, and oil branches of the IRGC, as well as senior individual members, have already been blacklisted by the USA, the organization itself with over 120,000 serving members has avoided the rap until now.

US President Donald Trump announced the move in a statement.

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Trump said in a statement Monday that the move "recognises the reality" that Iran is a state-sponsored supporter of terrorism and that the Revolutionary Guard is an active participant.

The designation is part of a well-crafted game plan that Bolton and Pompeo have been peddling for years: apply enough economic, diplomatic, and military pressure to force the Iranian regime to either capitulate to American demands or fall apart. Pompeo told a news conference the designation will take effect in one week.

Secretary Mike Pompeo backed the announcement from the State Department.

Indeed, the majority of the Iranian Majlis is already demanding that the Iranian government retaliate.

Netanyahu added that "we will continue to act together in every way against the Iranian regime that threatens the State of Israel, the United States and world peace".

In a statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Zarif's request was based on the law to deal with US human rights violations and provocative and terrorist acts in the region, ISNA reported.

Nevertheless, according to Reuters, Washington has finally made a decision to designate IRGC as a terrorist group.

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The Wall Street Journal reported this development on Friday, citing US officials.

Set up after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect the Shi'ite clerical ruling system, the IRGC is Iran's most powerful security organization.

Iran's national security council declared US Central Command (Centcom) a terrorist organisation after Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote to President Hassan Rouhani urging such a response, state news channel IRINN said.

The decision, which critics warn could open US military and intelligence officials to similar actions by unfriendly governments overseas, is expected to be announced by the US State Department, perhaps as early as Monday, the officials said.

The move comes on the eve of Israel's parliamentary election and was seen by some as an attempt to help Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his bid to retain power.

The council also called the move against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran's most powerful security organization, "unwise and illegal" and "a major threat" to regional and worldwide stability and peace. Without exclusions or waivers to the designation, USA troops and diplomats could be barred from contact with Iraqi or Lebanese authorities who interact with Guard officials or surrogates.

The IRGC is also in charge of Iran's ballistic missiles and nuclear programmes. More specifically within the IRGC, a small branch of rogue elements known as the IRGC-"Quds Force", led by none other than Major General Qasem Soleimani, exports terrorism and funds their operations through illicit activities including Illegal arms sales, front companies, and the drug trade.

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