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The United States has formally declared that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the country’s elite military unit, is a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” (FTO).
This is the first time the U.S. has ever named a part of another government an FTO, and it is an unprecedented move, which President Donald Trump acknowledged in a statement Monday.
“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” Trump said. “The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”
“It underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different than those of other governments,” Trump also pointed out.
.@POTUS: Today, I am formally announcing my Administration’s plan to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including its Qods Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) pic.twitter.com/UE9PF4dClD
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) April 8, 2019
“This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime. It makes crystal clear the risks of doing business with, or providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism,” Trump continued.
“This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences. We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iran regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior,” he added.
The move comes as the United States continues to put pressure on Iran for its terroristic behavior, whether in act or by funding terrorism worldwide. The U.S. has been putting economic and political pressure on Iran.
Iran had reacted to the initial reports of the terrorist designation coming down the pipeline over the weekend, threatening that all “calm” for the U.S. military would end in that region.
“With this stupidity, the American army and security forces will no longer have today’s calm in the West Asia region,” IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari reportedly said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a press conference shortly after Trump’s statement was released.
“With this designation, we are sending a clear message to Iran’s leaders … the United States is bringing all pressure to bear all outlandish behavior,” he said. “We’re asking all our partners and allies around the world to do the same.”