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Iran designates all US troops in Middle East terrorists

Hassan Rouhani, then-President-elect of Iran, during a press conference, June 22, 2013. (Hamed Malekpour/Tasnim News Agency/Released/CC BY 4.0)
May 01, 2019

Iran on Tuesday formally declared that all U.S. troops in the Middle East are terrorists.

And, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also declared the United States government to be a sponsor of terrorism.

Rouhani signed the bill on Tuesday.

The move comes after the U.S. last month formally declared that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the country’s elite military unit, is a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

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That was the first time the U.S. had ever named a part of another government an FTO, and it is an unprecedented move, which President Donald Trump acknowledged in a statement in April.

“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 had 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.

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.

Iran’s new law specifically says that the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is a terrorist organization, Reuters reported Tuesday.

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“These two forces (Guards and CENTCOM) that are designated as terrorist groups reciprocally might confront (each other) in the Persian Gulf or any other region. The United States will surely be responsible for such a situation,” said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, according to Reuters, citing the state-run IRNA news agency.