Iran's Khamenei calls U.S. blacklisting of Guards a 'vicious move'

Revolutionary Guard Corps: Iran hits back at US terrorist claim

Revolutionary Guard Corps: Iran hits back at US terrorist claim

The designation by the Trump administration of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organisation was meant to expand options for the United States while shutting others out. Put simply, the US Treasury has already sanctioned the IRGC quite heavily, so this move, while provocative, is unlikely to pressure Iran into caving into Washington's demands.

Monday's move by the U.S. government is an unprecedented declaration against a foreign administration and may prompt retaliation, making it harder for America to work with allies in the region. While IRGC leaders claim their involvement in the economic sector benefits the Iranian people and economy, in reality, it spends most of the revenues on military expenditures at home and overseas.

President Rouhani condemned the U.S. move in a speech broadcast live on state television. It has further isolated this arm, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, placing it in the same rogues' gallery of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations as ISIS and al Qaeda.

"Who are you to label revolutionary institutions as terrorists?"

"Three US army terrorists and a civilian contractor were killed in the explosion of an improvised explosive device near Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan", Iranian Fars News Agency wrote, referring to last night's attack in Bagram. "Our Sepah [the Guards] are in the frontline of confronting enemies of our [1979 Islamic] revolution and has always defended the country. America has failed to block our advancements", Khamenei said, addressing a group of Guards.

Why has the U.S. done this?

The administration of US President Donald Trump designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization on Monday through an official statement.

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The US move to designate IRGC as a terrorist organization has been negatively received by a number of countries.

It is just the latest move by the Trump administration to isolate Iran. Businesses and institutions in Iraq and Lebanon will be forced to distance themselves from IRGC entities if they want to retain their global connections.

The measure will take effect early next week, according to the state department.

The US may have a bone to pick with Iran, but labelling a state's military unit as "terrorists" is odd; even during the height of the Cold War the US did not use such terms for the Red Army, and vice versa.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus says that few Western commentators would disagree that the IRGC is responsible for all sorts of disruptive activities in the region and beyond.

"We have told Iran and America that we do not want Iraq to be a field of conflicts", he added.

"In Iran as well as overseas, this decision will not be recognised", President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday. Countries, companies and individuals that do business with the IRGC and the many enterprises it controls are supporting what Mohsen Sazegara, a founding member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and now a US -based dissident described, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, as "something like the Communist Party, the KGB, a business complex, and the Mafia".

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