The United States on Monday designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign “terrorist” organisation, an unprecedented declaration against a foreign government that may prompt retaliation and make it harder for American diplomats and military officers to work with allies in the region.
It is the first time that the US has designated an entity of another government as a “terrorist” organization, placing a group with vast economic resources that answers only to Iran’s supreme leader in the same category as al-Qaida and the Islamic State.
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,” President Donald Trump said in announcing the measure.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the designation is intended to increase pressure on Iran, isolating it further and diverting some of the financial resources it uses to fund terrorism and militant activity in the Middle East and beyond.
After the deceleration, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the United States was the real “leader of world terrorism”.
“Who are you to label revolutionary institutions as terrorists?” Rouhani asked in a speech broadcast live by state television.
“You want to use terrorist groups as tools against the nations of the region… you are the leader of world terrorism,” he said.