President Donald Trump announced on Monday that the United States is designating Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign “terrorist organisation”.
The step “recognizes the reality that 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.”
‘We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior,’ President Trump said in his statement.
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council immediately hit back and responded Monday by declaring the US a “state sponsor of terrorism” and American troops operating in the region as “terrorist groups,” according to IRNA, Iran’s state-run news agency.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran declares itself in reciprocity against the unlawful and unreasonable action of the United States today, considering the United States as a terrorist sponsored government and the Central Command of the United States, CENTCOM, and all its affiliated forces as terrorist groups,” the National Security Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran said in a statement, IRNA reported.
Chairman of Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh said that the country’s lawmakers have prepared a double-urgency bill which will be approved in case the US takes possible measures against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.
“The Trump administration is preparing to designate Iran’s IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization,’ The Wall Street Journal, a New York-based international daily quoted the US officials as saying on April 5.
According to the journal, the move was designed as “a step that would vastly escalate the American pressure campaign against Tehran but which has divided US officials’.
This is the first time that Washington has formally labelled another country’s military a “terrorist group”.