The IRGC was created and began operations after the 1979 Islamic revolution to defend the religious regime, and is Iran’s most elite military unit.
President Trump said in a statement: “I am formally announcing my Administration’s plan to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including its Quds Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation”.
The statement added: “This step recognises 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”.
This will be first time that the US will ever have named a part of another government as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation or another country’s military as a terrorist group.
The head of the Iranian parliament’s national security committee, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, on Twitter reacted: “If the Revolutionary guards are placed on America’s list of terrorist groups, we will put that country’s military on the terror blacklist next to Daesh”.
Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister warned that this decision by President Trump will have serious consequences for America.
The Guards’ prized foreign operations unit is the Quds Force, named for the Arabic word for Jerusalem, which supports forces allied with Iran in the region, including Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group.
It has also been linked to various terror attacks around the world, including a deadly bombing against Argentina’s Jewish community in 1994.