WASHINGTON – The United States has declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps a foreign terrorist group on Monday, an unprecedented declaration against a foreign government that can cause retaliation and complicate the work of US diplomats and military with allies Region.
It is the first time that the US has designated a unity of any other government as a terrorist organization and is deploying a group of vast economic resources equivalent only to the Iranian commander-in-chief in the same category as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
"This unprecedented move, led by the US Department of State, recognizes the fact that Iran is not just a state sponsor of terrorism, but that the IRGC is actively involved in, finances, and promotes terrorism as an instrument of statecraft. " President Donald Trump said in the announcement of the measure.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the nomination is intended to increase pressure on Iran, Isolatin In addition, part of the funding has been used to finance terrorism and militant activities in the Middle East and beyond. However, in addition to the possible Iranian retaliation, this poses a delicate balance for US personnel in at least two major countries.
No waivers or exceptions to the sanctions were announced so that US troops and diplomats could be excluded from contact Iraqi or Lebanese authorities interacting with security guards or surrogates.
The Pentagon and US intelligence also expressed concerns about the impact of the expulsion if the move did not allow contact with other foreign officials who may have met or got in touch with security personnel. These concerns have partially distracted the previous administrations from taking the step that has been considered for more than a decade.
Critics of hardline politics see this as a prelude to conflicts.
"This move closes another potential door for the peaceful resolution of tensions with Iran," said Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council. "When all doors are closed and diplomacy becomes impossible, the war becomes essentially inevitable."
The National Security Action, a group composed primarily of former Obama officials, said it would jeopardize US troops while facing a 2015 compromised nuclear deal, with which Iran is still in compliance.
"We must call today's step what it is: another dangerous and self-destructive tactic that endangers our troops and serves only the Trump government's goal of destroying the Iran deal," it said.
The designation could open hundreds of foreign companies and business leaders to US travel bans and possible criminal prosecution for sanctions violations.
It blocks any assets that IRGC entities may have in US jurisdictions and prohibits them from doing any type of transaction for Americans. If it comes into force next week, it will allow the United States to deny entry or criminal prosecution for violations of sanctions to persons who have been "materially supported" by the Guard. This could include European and Asian companies and business people working with the many members of the guard.
"This highlights the risks associated with or supporting the IRGC," said Trump. "If you do business with the IRGC, you will finance terrorism."
The IRGC is a paramilitary organization formed following the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 to defend the government. The force answers only to the highest Iranian leader, operates independently of the regular military, and has great economic interests throughout the country. The US estimates that they can control or have a significant influence on up to 50% of the Iranian economy, including non-military sectors such as banking and shipping.
Iran has long been described by the US as a "state sponsor of terrorism." The State Department currently names more than 60 organizations as "foreign terrorist organizations." But none of them is a state military. Iran responded immediately to its designation with its Supreme National Security Council, which named the US High Command (CENTCOM) and all its forces terrorists, and the US as a supporter of terrorism.
The Council condemned the US decision as "illegal and dangerous" and said the US government would be responsible for any "dangerous effects" on its decision, defending the IRGC, which fought against fighters from the Islamic State, as a force against terrorism.
American military commanders planned to warn US troops remaining in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in the region of possible retaliation except Iraq, where about 5,200 American troops are stationed, and Syria With approximately 2,000 US troops still stationed, the US's 5th fleet, operating from its base in Bahrain on the Persian Gulf, and Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar are potentially at risk.
The US Special Envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, and State Department Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Nathan Sales said the decision was after consultations with Authorities have been taken throughout the government, but would not say in a press conference whether the military or the military The concerns of the intelligence service had been addressed.
"This will not hamper our diplomacy," Hook said, without elaborating on it.
The reaction of those who favor a tougher confrontation with Iran was quick and inviting.
"Thank you, my dear friend, US President Donald Trump," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a tweet, a day before what could be a near election. "Thank you for answering another of my important requests that serve the interests of our countries and countries in the region."
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called the action an "overdue" but essential step that should be followed by more sanctions.
Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Parliament, said the term "ends the facade that the IRGC is part of a normal military".
And the Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, called it "a bid for security, peace and stability in the Middle East and an urgent and necessary step towards war and terrorism throughout the region and around the world to end."
Pompeo said the move was part of an effort to "put the maximum" pressure on Iran to end its support for terrorist plots and militant activities that destabilize the Middle East. In a conversation with reporters, he tore down a list of attacks from the 1980s for which Iran and the IRGC were held responsible, beginning with the attacks on the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983.
Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran and Aya Batrawy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, have contributed to this report.