USA to designate Iran's Guards Corps a terrorist organisation in unprecedented move

USA to designate Iran's Guards Corps a terrorist organisation in unprecedented move

The Trump administration is preparing to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing usa officials.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, who chairs the national security and foreign affairs committee in the Iranian parliament, explained that, as soon as that happens, the MPs will place the US Army on Iran's list of terrorist organizations "along with Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIL]".

Iran's foreign minister said on Sunday U.S. officials aiming to designate IRGC as a terrorist group want to "drag the U.S. into a quagmire" on behalf of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The expected shift in Washington's policy was initially reported by the Wall Street Journal on Friday, which cited unnamed U.S. officials claiming it could be rolled out as soon as Monday.

Reports that Washington is preparing to officially designate Iran's elite military unit as a "terrorist organization" appeared earlier this week.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a strident Iran hawk, has advocated the change in U.S. policy as part of the Trump administration's tough posture toward Tehran.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo | AP
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo | AP

Western media reported on Friday that the United States is expected to designate the IRGC a terrorist organization.

IRGC Commander-in-Chief, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said if Washington does so then the U-S military will no longer have calm in West Asia.

The Trump administration has already imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran after withdrawing previous year from an global agreement under which Tehran drastically scaled back its nuclear programme.

In 2007, the US Treasury designated the IRGC's Quds Force, its unit in charge of operations overseas, "for its support of terrorism", and has described it as Iran's "primary arm for executing its policy of supporting terrorist and insurgent groups".

"We will answer any action taken against this force with a reciprocal action", 255 Iranian lawmakers said in a letter over the weekend, according to Reuters.

"The IRGC is already fully sanctioned and this escalation absolutely endangers our troops in the region". It controls large sectors of the Iranian economy and has huge influence in its political system. It is estimated to have 125,000 personnel, comprised of army, navy and air units.

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