- The United States has designated Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps(IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.The US administration has accused the group of not only facilitating but perpetrating terrorism.
- It is the first time that the U.S. has designated an entity of another government as a terrorist organization.US has said that the move is part of an effort to put maximum pressure on Iran to end its support for terrorist plots and militant activity that destabilizes the Middle East.
- The foreign terrorist designation allows the US administration to seek criminal penalties against elements of the IRGC and foreign officials deemed to be aiding it.It will also allow US to ban travel to the United States for individuals associated with IRGC.
- This would be the latest move by the US administration to isolate Iran.US had already withdrawn from the landmark nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018 and has reimposed punishing sanctions including those targeting Iran’s oil, shipping and banking sectors.
- Further,Iran has also responded by designating the U.S. Central Command, also known as CENTCOM and all its forces as terrorist and labeling the U.S. as a supporter of terrorism.
- The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp was formed after the 1979 Islamic revolution with a mission to defend the clerical regime, in contrast to more traditional military units that protect borders.
- The Revolutionary Guards have amassed strong power within Iran, including with significant economic interests.The Guards’ prized unit is the Quds Force which supports forces allied with Iran around the region including Syrian President and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
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