President Donald Trump has, in an unexpected move, labeled Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organization.
On Monday the American President said in a statement: “The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”
The shocking statement by Washington sees the US, for the first time, formally branding another country’s military as a terrorist group.
Iran condemned the U.S decision as an illegal act prompted by Tehran’s regional influence and success in fighting against the Islamic State, the state television reported.
The tension between U.S and Iran have grown since Washington exited from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran last May, and U.S re-imposed sanctions that crippled Iran’s economy, according to a CNBC report.
Iran set up the 1979 IRGC to safeguard the Shi’ite clerical ruling system. Since then, the IRGC has come to be known as Iran’s most powerful security organization with a huge influence on Iran’s politics and controlling a big portion of the economy and armed forces.
The US and European Union are not happy with IRGC being economically active in Iran’s banking and shipping industries, complicating international trade. With Trump’s decision, doing business with IRGC will be punishable up to 20 years prison and those doing business with the group will be banned from entering or doing business in the U.S.
Iran responds to the US, labels CENTCOM terrorist
In response to Trump’s decision, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) designated the United States Central Command in the Middle East (CENTCOM) as a ‘terrorist organization.
“This unfounded decision is dangerous for regional and global peace and security. It is also a violation of international law and UN resolutions. The Army of the Revolutionary Guard fought against Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Nusra and other terrorist organizations in the region along with its allies,” SNSC said in a statement, Anadolu News Agency reported.