Washington is planning to designate the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group, the Wall Street Journal reported on April 5, citing unnamed U.S officials.
According to the officials, the decision will be officially announced by the U.S. State Department as early as April 8. This will be first time Washington to formally designate another country’s military a “terrorist group.”
The President Donald Trump administration reportedly hopes that this decision will increase pressure on Tehran. However, some U.S. officials believe that this step could endanger U.S. troops deployed near IRGC forces in the Middle East.
“There are legitimate arguments both ways, but there are definitely second and third-tier level [implications] that have to be considered … Think those second and third-tier levels haven’t been fully considered,” U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal and added: “New leadership has decided to look at things differently.”
Earlier this week, Brian Hook an advisor for the Secretary of State claimed that Iran is responsible for the deaths of at least 608 U.S. service members in Iraq in the period from 2003 to 2011. This accusation was clearly meant to justify the upcoming decision against the IRGC.
“The effects of Iran’s meddling had been felt most sharply by the region’s innocent civilians. Men, women, and children are casualties of Iran’s dangerous expansionism almost every day,” Hook said during a press briefing on April 2.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Treasury sanctioned the IRGC. The department later expanded the sanctions to include several civilian entities in Iran and other countries after accusing them of facilitating the Iranian force activities in the Middle East.
U.S. sanctions and threats forced Tehran to strengthen its relations with its current allies and increase its military spending. The designation of the IRGC as a terrorist group will likely lead to similar results.
More on this topic: