The White House is considering a proposal that would designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as an official terrorist organization, U.S. officials familiar to the matter said, according to Reuters. If implemented, the U.S. would add measured to the group on top of the ones already imposed and members linked to the organization. The White House is also considering adding the Muslim Brotherhood to the designated terror list.
The IRGC is Iran’s strongest military force that was founded after the Iranian revolution in 1979. While Iran’s regular military, the artesh, exists to defend the nation’s borders from outside enemies, the IRGC exists specifically to counter domestic affairs in order to protect the country’s radical Islamic system. They are the defense against military coups or “deviant movements” against the government.
If the proposal came into play, it would be created through an executive order from President Trump requesting that the State Department add the group to the official terror list.
It is unclear whether President Trump would impose such an act. If officially proposed, it could further deteriorate relations between the U.S. and Iran. The two countries have been at odds since Trump came into office as the President continues to fight back against Iran’s aggressive actions in the Middle East. Leaders in both countries have spoken out firmly against the other.
The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran for their ballistic missile testing last week. The White House also officially warned that Iran was “on notice” from the United States. Iranian leaders have threatened the United States, saying that they would bomb the U.S. Navy base in Bahrain if America makes “any mistakes.”
Many individuals and organizations with ties to IRGC have already been blacklisted by the United States. The U.S. Treasury designated the group’s elite operations unit, the Quds Force, as a terror group “for its support of terrorism,” adding that it is the Islamic Republic’s “primary arm for executing its policy of supporting terrorist and insurgent groups.”