Iran to Blacklist US Military If US Designates Revolutionary Guards as Terrorists

Iran to Blacklist US Military If US Designates Revolutionary Guards as Terrorists

Iran to Blacklist US Military If US Designates Revolutionary Guards as Terrorists

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, both Iran hawks, championed the decision, but not all US officials were so supportive.

US President Donald Trump now considers Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organisation, marking an unprecedented foreign policy step that raises the stakes of the US-Iranian relationship.

He gave a stark warning: "If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism", and warned that further action was coming to combat the group and all USA sanctioned entities.

The designation "makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC", the president added.

After reports of the planned USA designation emerged on Friday, Iranian lawmakers warned Tehran will take reciprocal action.

Previously, Iran warned that if US President Donald Trump lists Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organisation, Tehran would respond with a similar measure against the US CENTCOM.

Meanwhile, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has alluded that it would follow through on development of missiles and it would continue to build up its military power despite strict USA sanctions.

The United States has already blacklisted dozens of entities and people for affiliations with the IRGC, but the organization as a whole is not.

The department now designates 60 groups, such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State and their various affiliates, Hezbollah and numerous militant Palestinian factions, as "foreign terrorist organizations".

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"The Foreign Minister condemned the US possible blacklisting of the IRGC as terrorist group and said such a measure entails numerous dangers", Iran's Fars News Agency reported. 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. Given Iraq's dependence on Iran for energy supplies, trade, and security assistance, he would likely choose his neighbor to the east.

"We will continue to act together in any way against the Iranian regime that threatens the state of Israel, the United States and the peace of the world", the Israeli leader posted. "Thank you for answering another of my important requests that serves the interests of our countries and of countries in the region".

Officials informed of the step said an announcement was expected Monday, after a monthslong escalation in the administration's rhetoric against Iran, its support for militia groups in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, as well as anti-Israel groups in the region and beyond.

USA officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US military was taking all necessary steps and had alerted its commanders prior to the announcement. "If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism", he continued.

Spokesmen for Gen. Dunford, the CIA, and the U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East, declined to comment on the report, says the paper.

The information the US government has on their illicit activities is clear: Iran is the largest exporter of terrorism in the world.

The IRGC is also in charge of Iran's ballistic missiles and nuclear programmes.

"In 2011, the IRGC Qods Force plotted a brazen attack on the Saudi Ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C., that was uncovered and thwarted".

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