In an address to a ceremony marking the National Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran on Tuesday, Rouhani hailed the IRGC as a popular force and basic pillar of the Islamic Republic in a stern rebuke to the US government’s move to blacklist the IRGC.
Highlighting the IRGC’s great service to the Iranian nation since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the president said the US and Israel hold a grudge against the elite force which has foiled a host of hostile plots against Iran over the past 40 years.
“Today, the global arrogance and the US seek to express their grudge and hostility and (anger at their) failures by labeling ‘terrorist’ a group whose biggest goal, aspiration, act and devotion have always been fighting against terrorism,” he added.
The president hit back at the US regime for sponsoring and arming Daesh (ISIL) terrorists, saying the US still refrains from fighting against Daesh and harbors its leaders.
The US is using terrorist groups against regional nations and is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world, Rouhani added.
US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that Washington is designating the IRGC a foreign “terrorist organization”, marking the first time the US has formally labelled another country's military a terrorist group.
Responding to the move, Iran's Supreme National Security Council immediately declared the US as a state sponsor of terrorism and US forces in the region terrorists.
The SNSC said it has put CENTCOM on its terror list as a “reciprocal measure” against the US “illegal and unwise” move.