Iran will retaliate in kind if US designates Guards as terrorists: MPs

Iran will retaliate in kind if US designates Guards as terrorists: MPs

Iran will retaliate in kind if US designates Guards as terrorists: MPs

The United States is expected to designate Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps a foreign terrorist organization, three USA officials told Reuters, marking the first time Washington has formally labeled another country's military a terrorist group.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, who chairs the national security and foreign affairs committee in the Iranian parliament, explained that, as soon as that happens, the MPs will place the US Army on Iran's list of terrorist organizations "along with Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIL]".

While speaking at a conference in 2017, prior to joining the Trump administration, Bolton said that designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization "should have happened ten years ago".

Critics warn the decision, which is likely to be announced by the State Department as soon as Monday, could open US military and intelligence officials to similar actions by unfriendly governments around the world.

Reports that Washington is preparing to officially designate Iran's elite military unit as a "terrorist organization" appeared earlier this week.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a strident Iran hawk, has advocated for the change in US policy as part of the Trump administration's tough posture toward Tehran.

"#NetanyahuFirsters who have long agitated for FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organisation) of the IRGC fully understand its consequences for USA forces in the region".

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Separately, Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC's commander, said USA troops stationed in the Middle East would "lose their current status of ease and serenity" should Washington went ahead with "such foolishness" and warned of a "reciprocal move" from Tehran.

In response to the policy change, Reuters reported that the head of the Iranian parliament's national security committee tweeted that Iran would add the USA military to their own terror blacklist.

Republican Senator Ben Sasse said the move would be an important step in America's maximum pressure campaign against Tehran.

Iranian lawmakers have also issued a statement expressing full support for the country's armed forces, especially the I-R-G-C.

But Iranian officials say they'll respond in kind and will treat US military forces "like the Islamic State all around the world", suggesting possible violent confrontations between the two sides.

Set up after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect the Shi'ite clerical ruling system, the IRGC is Iran's most powerful security organisation. The nuclear agreement envisaged the gradual lifting of sanctions in return for Iran keeping its nuclear programme peaceful.

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