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Washington Considers Designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a Terrorist Group | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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IRGC troops march in 2011. AP photo/Vahid Salemi

London – U.S. officials said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s Administration was determined to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

Reuters quoted well-informed U.S. officials as saying that Trump’s administration was considering a proposal, which if implemented would add to measures the United States has already imposed on individuals and entities linked to the IRGC.

The officials told Reuters that the proposal could come in the form of an executive order directing the State Department to consider designating the IRGC as a terrorist group. It is unclear whether Trump would sign such an order.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A senior U.S. official, who has been involved in what he called a broad review of Iran policy, was quoted by the agency as saying: “The new administration regards Iran as the clearest danger to U.S. interests, and they’ve been looking for ways to turn up the heat.”

However, the official warned that sanctioning the IRGC could have dangerous implications. It could strengthen the hardliners and weaken moderate leaders such as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and encourage Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria to curtail any action against ISIS in Syria and Iraq and perhaps even sponsor actions against U.S.-backed or even American forces battling ISIS in Iraq, Reuters said, quoting the official.

In response, IRGC Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said the U.S. politicians should understand that making threats against Iran is of no avail, IRGC’s Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday.

“Enemies of the Islamic Revolution in recent years have explicitly acknowledged its glory and might, and we recommend the American politicians to consider threatening Iran as useless,” Jafari was quoted as saying, in an address to a cultural event in Iran’s western city of Hamedan.