Iran designates USA military a terrorist organization

Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards march during a military parade in Tehran Iran

Richard Sokolsky, now a non-resident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Office from 2005-2015 and served in the State Department in six administrations.

Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, in the capital Tehran, on September 22, 2018. "A (nother) risky USA misadventure in the region", he said in a tweet. "The IRGC is the Iranian government's primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign".

The Trump administration argues that Iran's government, which is locked in a deeply hostile standoff with top United States ally Israel, can not be trusted and should face "maximum pressure".

In a statement carried on Monday by Iran's state-run IRNA news agency, the council said it also declared all U.S. forces operating in the Middle East "terrorist groups".

Congressional Republicans applauded Mr. Trump's move, citing their longtime support for cracking down on the force.

The department now designates 60 groups, such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State and their various affiliates, Hezbollah and numerous militant Palestinian factions, as "foreign terrorist organizations". Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, said.

"The IRGC is interwoven into the Iranian economy".

The IRGC is known to conduct operations outside of Iran's borders, including assassination and terror plots dating back decades. It reported that the decision could be announced as soon as Monday.

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"This designation ends the façade that the IRGC is part of a normal military", he said.

The State Department now designates more than 60 organizations, including as al-Qaida and the Islamic State, Hezbollah and numerous militant Palestinian factions, as "foreign terrorist organizations".

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". "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".

Branding the IRGC as a terror group could help the United States clamp down on its businesses in Europe and elsewhere and subject IRGC officials to travel restrictions, the WSJ said.

"The Supreme National Security Council of Iran, strongly condemning the risky and illegal step of the USA regime, which put the IRGC on the list of foreign terrorist organizations, considers this groundless measure the main danger to peace and security in the region and around the world", the TV channel quoted the Iranian Security Council statement.

"If the Revolutionary Guards are placed on America's list of terrorist groups, we will put that country's military on the terror blacklist next to Daesh", Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head of parliament's national security committee, said on Twitter.

The U.S. estimates it may control or have a significant influence over up to 50% of the Iranian economy, including non-military sectors like banking and shipping.

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