In an unprecedented move, President Trump on Monday officially designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, 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,” the president said in a statement. “This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences. 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.”
The designation prevents Americans and American-owned companies from conducting business with the IRGC and comes with accompanying sanctions.
“Like other evil deeds of the US, this move is also doomed to failure,” Iranian judiciary chief Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi said Monday in Tehran, according to state-owned FARS News.
The IRGC’s commander, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, issued a warning over the weekend that military tensions between the two countries would rise if the Trump administration took such a move. He added that Iran will designate the U.S. military as a terrorist organization in response.
“If [the Americans] make such a stupid move, the U.S. Army and American security forces stationed in West Asia [Middle-East] will lose their current status of ease and serenity,” Jafari reportedly said.
In response to the move, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, asked President Hassan Rouhani to place U.S. forces in the Middle East on the country’s list of “terrorist groups,” according to the government-backed Islamic Republic News Agency.