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US designates Revolutionary Guards as terrorist group, Iran retaliates with similar action

The Revolutionary Guard was created after the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in 1979

Tuesday April 9, 2019 10:18 AM, ummid.com & Agencies

Terrorist Group

Washington/Tehran: US President Donald Trump on Monday announced his decision to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group, the first time that Washington has taken such a drastic measure against the military forces of another country.

In a tit for tat action, Iran's Supreme National Security Council retaliated with similar action and announced US Central Command forces in West Asia as "terrorist group," the official IRNA news agency reported.

"This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognises 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," said Trump in a statement.

The Revolutionary Guard, created after the triumph of the 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect Iran's then-new theocratic system, is the country's most powerful military organization and controls large sectors of its economy, according to Efe.

The decision is the result of a strident debate within the Trump administration, where some officials at the Pentagon and the CIA warned that the measure could lead to reprisals against US troops in the Middle East, according to The Wall Street Journal report.

Tit for Tat

Tehran responded quickly to the Trump administration move, as Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif called for US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces to be placed on the list of terrorist groups by the Islamic Republic.

Iran's Supreme National Security Council considers the US government as the "sponsor of terrorism" and soon after the US decision, it announces the US Central Command and its affiliated forces in West Asia as a "terrorist group," according to a statement by the council.

"Iran strongly condemns the illegal and dangerous move by the US to designate the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organisation," it added.

This "baseless" US measure vis-a-vis the IRGC endangers peace and security in the region and the world, and "it is an ostensible violation of international law and the UN charter," it noted, Xinhua reported.

"While the US and its allies supported the extremist and terrorist groups in West Asia, the IRGC has been in the forefront of battle against terrorism and extremism in the region," it said.

Washington should be blamed for "all the dangerous consequences of its adventurous measure" by blacklisting the IRGC, the statement added.

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