Just hours after President Trump formally designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization, Iran’s foreign ministry has put forward a bill placing US Central Command on a list of organizations designated as terrorists, akin to Daesh.
Today, I am formally announcing my Administration’s plan to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including its Qods Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. 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 IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.
This designation will be the first time that the United States has ever named a part of another government as a FTO. It underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments. This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime. It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.
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.
But, as Sputnik News reports, the Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to the designation on Monday, recommending that President Hassan Rouhani designate US Central Command (US CENTCOM), a US military theatre-level command whose area of responsibility includes the Middle East, on the list of organisations designated as terrorists by Iran.
Previously, the Iranian Foreign Minister noted that those US officials who advocated IRGC blacklisting, “seek to drag the US into a quagmire”.
“#NetanyahuFirsters who have long agitated for FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organisation) of the IRGC fully understand its consequences for US forces in the region. In fact, they seek to drag the US into a quagmire on his behalf,” Mohammed Javad Zarif said on his Twitter account. “@realDonaldTrump should know better than to be conned into another US disaster.”
Iranian officials previously warned that the IRGC’s inclusion on the US terror list would be a “mistake” which would prompt Tehran to equate the US military with Daesh (ISIS). Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said a bill to this effect had already been prepared.