U.S. Designates Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Terror Organization

from The Wall Street Journal,

Decision marks first time an element of a foreign state has been officially designated terrorist entity.

The Trump administration escalated a pressure campaign against Iran on Monday by designating the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, the first time an element of a foreign state has been officially named a terrorist entity. “This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime,” President Trump said in a statement Monday. “If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.” The designation aims to squeeze the IRGC’s financial resources and shrink its military presence in the Middle East, helping the U.S. crack down on businesses in Europe and elsewhere controlled by the organization.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a U.S. goal is to increase pressure on Iran to meet the 12 demands the U.S. listed in May last year, when the president said the U.S. would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. “We want Iran to behave like a normal nation,” Mr. Pompeo said. “That’s the mission of this designation as well.”

Iran retaliated against the U.S. move by designating the U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for military operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as a terrorist group. “Any unusual move by them will be assessed as the behavior of a terrorist group, and dealt with by a reciprocal move,” said a spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, which made the terror designation on Monday.

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