Recently, the Revolutionary Guards Corps has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States. It's not immediately clear if the appointment is connected with the US move as reports didn't specify the reason behind the designation.
"The Supreme Leader has appointed Brigadier General Hossein Salami as the new commander-in-chief of the Guards, who will replace Mohammad Ali Jafari," state TV reported.
On 8 April, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States was including IRGC on its terror list. Explaining the decision, Washington accused Iran's elite forces of participating in terror activities, as well as financing terrorism.
In response, the Iranian Foreign Ministry proposed that the country's Supreme National Security Council include the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in its list of terrorist groups.
The IRGC is in charge of Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have escalated since Washington withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement last year and reinstated sanctions against Tehran.
In May 2018 US President Donald Trump declared that he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. He described it as 'a horrible one-sided deal' that should have never been made. Later in November 2018, Washington imposed tough sanctions on Iran's oil, banking and shipping industries, trying to cut its oil exports.
The US initiative was criticised by Tehran and other signatories to the nuclear deal. Iran then vowed to continue shipping oil disregarding the sanctions and threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz, the only maritime exit from the Persian Gulf, in case its exports were endangered.
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