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Trump labels Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terror organisation

Trump labels Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terror organisation

CBS News "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan reports that White House officials, including National Security Adviser John Bolton and Pompeo himself, had been arguing for the designation for some time.

Iran Parliament has vowed to retaliate by passing a bill putting US troops on a terrorism blacklist alongside Daesh (ISIS), the semi-official news agency ISNA reported.

The IRGC designation was warmly welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is up for reelection on Tuesday and who tweeted "Thank you, my dear friend, U.S. President Donald Trump. for meeting another of my important requests".

Pompeo said Monday that Iranian actors "ought to think more than twice about" targeting US troops.

In a subsequent Hebrew tweet, Netanyahu said the move "serves the interests of our countries and of countries in the region", and warmly thanked the U.S. leader for "acceding to another one of my important requests".

The speech marked the first time Washington has formally labelled another country's military a terrorist group.

According to three unnamed US officials cited by The Wall Street Journal, US government disclosed the decision on Friday and is expected to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IGRC, as a terrorist organization, perhaps as early as on Monday.

Meanwhile, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has alluded that it would follow through on development of missiles and it would continue to build up its military power despite strict US sanctions. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia had also labeled the Guard a terrorist organization.

It's the first time the US has declared an element of a foreign government to be a terrorist organization, the Trump administration says.

Foreign policy observers said the Trump administration is sowing the seeds of war on Monday after it designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard a "foreign terrorist organization".

Despite the risks, Iran hard-liners on Capitol Hill, such as Republican senators Ted Cruz (Texas) and Tom Cotton (Arkansas), and elsewhere have long advocated for the designation.




The anonymous sources also said that concerned defense officials were bracing for the impact. They explained that it will now pave the way for criminal prosecutions of the group's members and its backers.

"The Middle East can not be more stable and peaceful without a weakened IRGC", the official said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has advocated the change in U.S. policy as part of the Trump administration's tough posture toward Tehran.

"We will continue to act together in any way against the Iranian regime that threatens the state of Israel, the United States and the peace of the world", the Israeli leader posted.

"From the moment it was founded it was to demand the regime's revolution by whatever means possible", he told reporters.

The Guards' prized unit is the Quds Force, named for the Arabic word for Jerusalem, which supports forces allied with Iran around the region including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Mr Pompeo said the United States was sending a clear message to Iran's leaders that it is "bringing all pressure to bear". The administration has imposed the harshest sanctions on Iran to date.

The designation comes on the first anniversary of Mr Trump announcing that he was pulling America out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal signed by Washington, Tehran and four other global powers.

In addition to those complications, American commanders are concerned that the designation may prompt Iran to retaliate against USA forces in the region, and those commanders plan to warn US troops remaining in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere of that possibility, according to a third USA official.

Iran has already vowed to take punitive actions against the United States as a result of the designation, which could cripple many key sectors of the Iranian economy due to the IRGC's involvement in a range of Tehran's business ventures.

"Businesses and banks around the world now have a clear duty to ensure that companies with which they conduct financial transactions are not conducted with the IRGC in any material way".

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