According to American sources, the decision to blacklist IRGC had been supported by US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while Pentagon and CIA officials had reportedly cautioned against the move
“In a reciprocal action in response to the illegal and unwise move by the US [against the IRGC], the Islamic Republic of Iran regards the US regime as a state sponsor of terrorism and the US Central Command and all forces linked to it as a terrorist group,” SNSC said in a statement on Monday, ISNA reported.
Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif had earlier proposed that the US Central Command be blacklisted in response to the US hostile measure.
In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani on Monday, who is also the head of the Supreme National Security Council, the top diplomat called for US military forces based in the region, known as CENTCOM, to be added to the list of terror groups “due to their covert and overt support for terrorist outfits and their direct involvement in terrorist activities.”
In a statement posted on the website of the White House earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump announced the US administration’s plan to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, including its Quds Force, which is in charge of overseas operations, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
The designation is the first time that the United States has ever named a part of another government as an FTO.
“This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian [government]. It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism,” the statement contended.
“This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its [alleged] support for terrorism has serious consequences. We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian [government] for its [alleged] support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior.”