Iran brands US military a ‘terrorist organisation’ after Trump blacklists IRGC – The Independent

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Iran brands US military a ‘terrorist organisation’ after Trump blacklists IRGC – The Independent

Iran has labelled the US military a “supporter of terrorism” after Donald Trump‘s administration blacklisted the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

In an announcement signalling it would reciprocate the unprecedented move, Tehran accused Washington of posing a “a major threat to regional and international stability and peace”.

The decision to list the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organisation marked the first time the US has formally branded another country’s military a terrorist group.


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In an indignant response reported by state TV, Iran‘s Supreme National Security Council said: “This unwise and illegal measure is a major threat to regional and international stability and peace … Iran labels the American regime as a supporter of terrorism.”

Tensions between the two countries have mounted since Mr Trump pulled his country out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran last May and reimposed sanctions that had crippled Iran‘s economy. 

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An Israeli soldier stands next to signs pointing out distances to different cities on Mount Bental, an observation post in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights

Reuters

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Druze people take part in a rally in Majdal Shams near the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria

Reuters

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Israeli Druzes sit together watching the Syrian side of the Israel-Syria border on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights

Reuters

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A European member of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) using binoculars to look towards the Syrian side of the Golan Heights

AFP/Getty

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A file photo taken on October 19, 1973 shows Israeli Defence Minister General Moshe Dayan (R) looking towards the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, four days after the beginning of the Yom Kippur War

AFP/Getty

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A file photo taken on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on September 5, 2014 shows members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone (UNDOF) using binoculars to look towards the Syrian side of the Golan Heights

AFP/Getty

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Members of the United Nations peacekeepers standing on a watch tower during a visit by the Israeli Defence Minister in 2018

AFP/Getty


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An Israeli soldier stands next to signs pointing out distances to different cities on Mount Bental, an observation post in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights

Reuters

2/7

Druze people take part in a rally in Majdal Shams near the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria

Reuters

3/7

Israeli Druzes sit together watching the Syrian side of the Israel-Syria border on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights

Reuters

4/7

A European member of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) using binoculars to look towards the Syrian side of the Golan Heights

AFP/Getty


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A file photo taken on October 19, 1973 shows Israeli Defence Minister General Moshe Dayan (R) looking towards the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, four days after the beginning of the Yom Kippur War

AFP/Getty

6/7

A file photo taken on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on September 5, 2014 shows members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone (UNDOF) using binoculars to look towards the Syrian side of the Golan Heights

AFP/Getty

7/7

Members of the United Nations peacekeepers standing on a watch tower during a visit by the Israeli Defence Minister in 2018

AFP/Getty

The US has already blacklisted dozens of people and entities with alleged connections to the IRGC, but had until now refrained from doing so to the entire organisation.

The designation imposes sanctions that include freezes on assets the IRCG may have in US jurisdictions and a ban on Americans doing business with it.

Mr Trump said: “This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognises 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.”

In response, Iran‘s Supreme National Security Council said it has designated the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and all its forces as terrorist and labelled the US a “supporter of terrorism”.

The semi-official Fars news agency reported the statement after Iran‘s foreign minister said he wants to include the Middle East-based US military forces on his country’s “terrorist groups” list.

The IRGC is a paramilitary organisation formed in the wake of Iran‘s 1979 Islamic Revolution to defend its clerically overseen government.

The force answers only to Iran‘s supreme leader, operates independently of the regular military and has vast economic interests across the country.

The new designation allows the US to deny entry to people found to have provided the Guard with material support or prosecute them for sanctions violations. That could include European and Asian companies and business people who deal with the Guard’s many affiliates.


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It will also complicate diplomacy. Without exclusions or waivers to the designation, US troops and diplomats could be barred from contact with Iraqi or Lebanese authorities who interact with Guard officials or surrogates.

The Pentagon and US intelligence agencies have raised concerns about the impact of the designation if the move does not allow contact with foreign officials who may have met with or communicated with Guard personnel.

Those concerns have in part dissuaded previous administrations from taking the step, which has been considered for more than a decade.

The state department currently designates 60 groups, such as al-Qaeda, Isis, Hezbollah and numerous militant Palestinian factions as “foreign terrorist organisations”.

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