U.S. designates elite Iranian military force ‘IRGC’ as a terrorist organization

President Donald Trump announced on Monday that the United States is designating Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign “terrorist organization”, marking the first time Washington has formally labeled another country’s military a “terrorist group”.

Responding to the move, Iran immediately declared the US as “state sponsor of terrorism” and US forces in the region “terrorist groups”, state media reported.

Iran also condemned the US decision as an illegal act prompted by Tehran’s regional influence and “success in fighting against Islamic State,” Iranian state TV said, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

Administration officials said the move is a response to Iran’s destabilizing behavior across the Middle East, including support for the regime in Syria, Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as for assassination plots in Europe and the US.
Trump Administration accuses Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” Trump said in a statement that described the IRGC as “the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”

‘Another dangerous US misadventure’ – Trump Preparing For War?

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said in a statement that the designation could endanger peace and stability in the Middle East and globally, according to Iranian state TV.

“This unwise and illegal measure is a major threat to regional and international stability and peace … Iran labels the American regime as a supporter of terrorism,” the statement read as quoted by state TV.

Netanyahu, a Trump ally, thanked the US president for the decision, saying the designation “serves the interests of our countries and of countries in the region”.

The IRGC, Iran’s most powerful security organization, was set up in 1979. The force is in charge of Iran’s ballistic missiles and nuclear programmes and answers directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It is estimated to have 125,000 personnel, comprised of army, navy and air units.

 

 

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