1139 GMT November 12, 2019
The United States is expected to designate the IRGC a foreign terrorist organization, three US officials told Reuters, marking the first time Washington has formally labeled another country’s military a terrorist group.
"We will answer any action taken against this force with a reciprocal action," a statement issued by 255 out of the 290 Iranian lawmakers said, according to IRNA.
"So the leaders of America, who themselves are the creators and supporters of terrorists in the (Middle East) region, will regret this inappropriate and idiotic action."
Iran’s foreign minister said on Sunday US officials aiming to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group want to “drag the US into a quagmire” on behalf of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Reuters reported.
“#NetanyahuFirsters who have long agitated for FTO designation of the IRGC fully understand its consequences for US forces in the region. In fact, they seek to drag US into a quagmire on his behalf,” Mohammed Javad Zarif said on his Twitter account. “@realDonaldTrump should know better than to be conned into another US disaster.”
Head of the IRGC, Mohammad Ali Jafari, also said the US military will no longer have calm in West Asia if it designates the IRGC as a terrorist organization, Fars News Agency reported on Sunday.
“With this stupidity, the American Army and security forces will no longer have today’s calm in the West Asia region,” Jafari was quoted as saying.
The US decision is expected to be announced by the State Department perhaps as early as Monday, the US officials said last week.
The move has been rumored for years.
Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh said on Saturday Tehran will blacklist the US military – like the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group – if Washington labels the IRGC as a “terror organization”.
The US has already blacklisted dozens of entities and individuals affiliated with the IRGC, but not the group as a whole.
The IRGC was formed on the order of Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, shortly after the 1979 revolution in a bid to protect the revolution and battle insecurity in the country.
The group, which is a branch of Iran’s Armed Forces, played a major role in defending the country during the 1980-1988 imposed war with Iraq.
Over the past four decades, it has successfully foiled conspiracies hatched by the enemy against the Islamic Republic.
The IRGC, which has roughly 125,000 military personnel and enjoys growing public support, is also actively cooperating in construction, infrastructure and relief projects.