The hostile country of Iran issued a threatening statement to the U.S. Monday. Iran warned it would give a “crushing” response to the U.S. if its elite Revolutionary Guards are listed as a terrorist group.
The statement comes a week before President Donald Trump renders a final decision on how he wants to handle the Iran nuclear deal put into effect by the Obama administration. Trump is also expected on October 15 to designate Iran’s most powerful security force, the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as a terrorist organization.
“We are hopeful that the United States does not make this strategic mistake,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said to state news agency IRNA at a news conference. “If they do, Iran’s reaction would be firm, decisive and crushing and the United States should bear all its consequences.”
Individuals and entities associated with the IRGC are already on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations, though the organization itself is not.
IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari on Sunday said: “If the news is correct about the stupidity of the American government in considering the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group, then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world.” Jafari also said that additional sanctions would terminate the chances for future dialogue with the United States and that the Americans would have to move their regional bases outside the 2,000 km (1,250 miles) range of the IRGC’s missiles.
Qasemi also spoke out against U.S. accusations that Iran had cooperated with North Korea, calling them “baseless.” In an interview Saturday night, Trump accused Iran of “funding North Korea” and “doing things with North Korea that are totally inappropriate.”
Qasemi’s responded that “Israel and some specific countries are raising these accusations to create Iranophobia.”
The Trump administration is seeking to put more pressure on the IRGC, due to recent ballistic missile tests and “malign activities” across the Middle East. U.S. sanctions on the IRGC could impact conflicts in Iraq and Syria, where Tehran and Washington both support opposing parties that are against the Islamic State.
In July, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on 18 entities and individuals for supporting the IRGC in developing drones and military equipment. In August, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly approved the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.”
Trump has stated the Iran nuclear deal is the worst deal ever made. As a candidate, he vowed to rip up the agreement.
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