U.S. 'to label Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group'

Tehran's landmark Milad Tower is seen through a row of national flags in the center of the Iranian capital

The statement comes several hours after the WSJ reports about the White House's plans to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) on 8 April.

Writing on Twitter, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head of the Iranian Parliament's Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, said Tehran would add the U.S. army to "the terrorist blacklist alongside Daesh" if the United States blacklisted the IRGC.

In response, Iran said it may put the USA military on its terror list if Washington designates the Iranian elite Revolutionary Guards as terrorists, a senior Iranian lawmaker said on Saturday.

The newspaper, quoting unnamed officials, said President Donald Trump's administration would announce the long-mulled decision as soon as Monday and that concerned defense officials were bracing for the impact.

The Trump administration has already imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran after withdrawing a year ago from an worldwide agreement under which Tehran drastically scaled back its nuclear program.

At the moment the IRGC has already been sanctioned by Washington, as the Department of Treasury imposed sanctions on it in October 2017 under a 9/11-era executive order issued during the George W. Bush administration.

Defense officials have told CNN that United States troops in Syria and Iraq often find themselves operating in close proximity to members of the IRGC.

Former Under-Secretary of State and lead Iran negotiator, Wendy Sherman, said she anxious about implications for USA forces.

Brian Hook, the State Department's special representative for Iran, told reporters on Tuesday: "Under the cover of the Syrian war, the IRGC is now trying to plant military roots in Syria and establish a new strategic base to threaten Syria's neighbours such as Israel".

"The IRGC is already fully sanctioned and this escalation absolutely endangers our troops in the region". Tehran has warned that it has missiles with a range of up to 2,000 km (1,242 miles), putting Israel and U.S. military bases in the region within reach.

It is unclear what impact the United States designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization might have on America's activities in countries that have ties with Tehran, including in Iraq.



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