US Move to Blacklist IRGC Terrorism: Tehran

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US media reports indicate President Donald Trump may designate the Guards as a terrorist organization as part of a larger strategy to increase pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.

US President Donald Trump is expected on October 15 to "decertify" a landmark 2015 global deal about Iran's nuclear program, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"If America's new law for sanctions is passed, this country will have to move their regional bases outside the 2,000-kilometer range of Iran's missiles", Iranian Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps or IRGC, told state-run media Monday.

US President Trump is considering tougher sanctions against Iran, including listing the Revolutionary Guards as a terror group. The two groups are now making clear the need for national unity against Trump's menacing threats.

Several Iranian newspapers ran the same photo on the front page on Tuesday: the urbane, USA -educated Foreign Minister Javad Zarif laughing and hugging the commander of the IRGC, Major-General Mohammad Ali Jafari, in a striking display of unity between the two main factions of Iran's leadership.

"It seems the Trump administration understands nothing but expletives and needs some shocks to learn the new concept of power in today's world", Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said on Tuesday. "The Americans have driven the world insane by their behavior. It is time to teach them a new lesson".

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"We have a similar stance but different ways of saying it", the papers quoted Jafari as saying. While the Revolutionary Guards itself has never been listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, individuals and groups associated with it have.

Iran's moderate president Hasan Rouhani won re-election less than five months ago after a campaign in which he called for better ties with the outside world and reform at home, openly criticizing the influence of the IRGC which he accused of backing his hardline opponent. Washington accuses Iran of supporting "terrorism" and says the 2015 deal does not do enough to block its path to acquire nuclear weapons. According to reports, the USA president plans to declare that the nuclear deal is not in the national interest of the United States and kick the issue to a reluctant Congress. Iranian officials threatening a "reciprocal" move in turn. British Prime Minister Theresa May told Trump by phone on Tuesday that the deal was "vitally important for regional security". He is also expected to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization. Such a step would stop short of pulling out of the agreement, leaving that decision to Congress.

His comments come as the Trump administration weighs whether to designate the Corps as a terrorist group.

"If American officials make such a strategic mistake, the Islamic Republic of Iran will take a reciprocal measure", Zarif said, adding, "Some measures have been thought out in this regard and will be taken at the appropriate time".

The nuclear deal was reached between Iran and the world six powers of Britain, China, France, Russia and the USA plus Germany in July 2015.