US designates Iran's Revolutionary Guards as terrorist organization

US designates Iran's Revolutionary Guards as terrorist organization

Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) march in September 2018 during the annual military parade marking the outbreak of the 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq (AFP Photo/STR) Washington (AFP) - The United States on Monday designated Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, ramping up already far-reaching efforts to undermine the clerical government in Tehran -- which swiftly retaliated by calling US troops terrorists. It is the first time that Washington has branded part of a foreign government a terrorist group, meaning that anyone who deals with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps could face prison in the United States. President Donald Trump called the unit -- which has some 125, 000 troops and vast interests across the Iranian economy -- Tehran's "primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign." "This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime, " Trump said in a statement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, addressing reporters, said that all businesses and banks around the world "now have a clear duty" to cut off all dealings that involve the Revolutionary Guards. "The leaders of Iran ....

Critics in the United States said that the Trump administration was seeking to stir up a crisis that could lead to confrontation or at least push Iran to violate the 2015 nuclear accord. Europeans strongly support preserving the agreement and UN inspectors say that Iran remains in compliance. "This is yet another dangerous escalation of conflict with Iran that is disturbingly reminiscent of the lead-up to the failed war in Iraq, " said Tom Udall, a Democratic senator from New Mexico. "The Trump administration is ratcheting up confrontation, undercutting diplomacy and putting American troops at risk, " he said. . .

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