US to designate Iran Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group

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Last year, CNN reported that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats cautioned the administration that designating the IRGC could pose dangers to USA forces, according to one source familiar with the matter. The move has been rumored for years.

Jason Blazakis, the former director of the State Department's Counterterrorism Finance and Designation Office, told the WSJ that the move would have profound ramifications.

Earlier, the Foreign Policy magazine reported, citing USA officials, that the administration of President Donald Trump is considering the possibility of cutting diplomatic personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq as soon as this year or the next.

According to Reuters, IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari warned in 2017 that if Trump went ahead with the move, "then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world".

The WSJ also reported that US officials claim "national security advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been strong proponents of the move, which is meant to help the USA crackdown on businesses in Europe and elsewhere controlled by the IRGC".

The US has already blacklisted dozens of entities and individuals affiliated with the IRGC, but not the group as a whole.

"#NetanyahuFirsters who have long agitated for FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organisation) of the IRGC fully understand its consequences for U.S. forces in the region".

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He added that if the U.S. endangers Iran's national security, Tehran will take reciprocal measures against Washington as well.

"We will answer any action taken against this force with a reciprocal action", a statement issued by 255 out of the 290 Iranian lawmakers said, according to IRNA.

In 2007, the US Treasury designated the IRGC's Quds Force, its unit in charge of operations overseas, "for its support of terrorism", and has described it as Iran's "primary arm for executing its policy of supporting terrorist and insurgent groups".

President Trump is seen as strongly supportive of the new initiative.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was formed after Iran's 1979 revolution with a mission to defend the government, in contrast to more traditional military units that protect borders.

It is unclear what impact the United States designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization might have on America's activities in countries that have ties with Tehran, including in Iraq.