Trump slaps 'terror' label on Iranian forces

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The decision by the Trump administration to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization marks another risky step in the relentless campaign Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton are waging to provoke a U.S.

In a statement, Mr Trump said the "unprecedented step" recognises that "the IRGC is the Iranian government's primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign".

After US President Donald Trump took office, he withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and set about clamping down on Tehran's influence in the Middle East, re-imposing a strict sanctions regime that was designed in part to curb the influence of the Guards.

"We will answer any action taken against this force with a reciprocal action", a statement issued by 255 out of the 290 Iranian MPs said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency. The move would be the first such designation by any USA administration of an entire foreign government entity. The United States had already blacklisted dozens of entities and people for their affiliations with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) but not the organisation as a whole.

In 2017, IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari warned that if Trump went ahead with designating the group as terrorist "then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world".

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He also said that IRGC Gen. Qasem Soleimani was responsible for killing 603 USA troops during the Iraq war.

The announcement comes shortly before the first anniversary of Trump's decision to pull out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran and to reimpose sanctions that had crippled Iran's economy.

It is the first time the United States has formally labeled another country's military a terrorist group. "Once again you are keeping the world safe from Iran aggression and terrorism".

Furthermore, much of the turmoil we see around the world is a direct result of the actions of the IRGC and state sponsorship of terrorism by Iran.

The Revolutionary Guard was created in parallel to the country's existing armed forces to consolidate power under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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Administration officials said the Iranians "forced our hands" in designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization, citing actions in Iraq that have killed Americans and its work as the "central banker" and chief state sponsor of terror around the globe.

The information the US government has on their illicit activities is clear: Iran is the largest exporter of terrorism in the world.

Military officials cautioned the designation could incite violence against USA forces in the Middle East without severely impacting Iran's economy.

Iranian authorities have said the decision is a great mistake that will endanger United States interests in the region, where Iran is involved in proxy wars from Syria to Lebanon. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and other countries have accused the guard of supplying the Houthis with long-range missiles, a charge it denies.

Previously, Iran warned that if US President Donald Trump lists Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organisation, Tehran would respond with a similar measure against the US CENTCOM. 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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Critics had warned that such a move could leave USA troops in the region more vulnerable as a result.