Published: Fri, April 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Iranian Lawmakers Wear IRGC Uniforms, Chant "Death to America"

Iranian Lawmakers Wear IRGC Uniforms, Chant

The Council of Ministers on Tuesday welcomed the decision of the United States to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a foreign terrorist organization, describing it as a practical and serious step in counterterrorism efforts. Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps went from being a domestic security force with origins in the 1979 Islamic Revolution to a transnational fighting force.

The designation by the Trump administration of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organisation was meant to expand options for the USA while shutting others out.

"In Iran as well as overseas, this decision will not be recognised", President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday.

The 125,000-strong elite force, comprised of army, navy and air units, answers directly to the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and controls major businesses in Iran as well.

The US move yesterday was an unprecedented declaration against a foreign government, one that could prompt retaliation and make it harder for Americans to work with allies in the region.

Are you thinking of following the USA example by adding the IRGC to the list of terrorist organizations?

The Iranian regime had already lashed out at the White House on Monday, immediately after Trump announced his decision, claiming that all American troops in the region were "terrorists".

"Once again you are keeping the world safe from Iran [ian] aggression and terrorism", Netanyahu said.

Also on Monday, Iran responded by designating all United States forces as terrorist, and labeling the U.S. a "supporter of terrorism".

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In a show of support, Iranian lawmakers wore Guards uniforms to parliament on Tuesday, chanting "Death to America" as Iran marked the annual National Day of the Revolutionary Guards, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

A similar warning is also expected from the State Department of possible Iranian retaliation against American interests, including embassies and consulates, and anti-American protests, the first two us officials said. He did not elaborate.

Since President Trump took office, he has been accusing Iran and its proxies of financing terror groups and posing a national security threat to the U.S. Similarly, Israel has gradually hardened its tone against Iran, even targeting some Iranian positions in Syria. Beijing is one of Tehran's close economic partners and also sided with Iran and Russian Federation in the Syrian conflict. By keeping the foreign terrorist organization designation squarely focused on non-state actors, it could also avoid the thorny debate of what state actions could provoke such a direct designation. He quickly forged an alliance with President Trump that has already proved to be of great benefit to Israel.

Washington-Tehran tensions have risen since Mr Trump withdrew the United States from the global Iran nuclear pact.

The Revolutionary Guards have always been in the crosshairs of successive U.S. administrations.

The rapid rise of the Islamic State (IS) in 2014 created a rare opportunity for both Tehran and Washington to indirectly cooperate in their battle against terrorism in Iraq. It will increase financial pressure on Iran and isolate it more from the rest of the world.

"Iranians could affect United States interests inside Afghanistan", said Abdul Qadir Kamil, a political analyst. "Who is propagating and encouraging terrorism in today's world?"

Iran's immediate response to the new USA designation - counterdesignations of its own - has been proportionate.

Iran also designated the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and all its affiliates as "a terrorist group" on Monday. Just last week, Pompeo's special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, accused Iran and its proxies of being responsible for the death of 608 USA troops in Iraq between 2003 and 2011.

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