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    Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards march during a military parade to commemorate the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war in Tehran. File photo

    US Considers Designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard a Terror Group – Reports

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    In May 2018, US President Donald Trump announced Washington's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions against the Islamic Republic, which was denounced by Trump as the world's "leading state sponsor of terror."

    The US administration is considering designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization, in a move aimed at ramping up pressure on Tehran, according to CNN.

    It cited high-ranking US officials as saying that the designation "would allow the White House to freeze IRGC assets, impose travel bans and levy criminal penalties on top of pre-existing economic sanctions."

    READ MORE: US Anti-Iran Sanctions Serve IRGC's Interests, Could Hinder Reform – Strategist

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already signaled support for labeling the IRGC, saying that "the end goal is to convince the Islamic Republic of Iran to be a normal country."

    US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, for his part, cautioned that the designation "could pose dangers to US forces," a stance that was echoed by some other US officials.

    READ MORE: IRGC Commander Slams US as 'Untrustworthy' Amid Withdrawal From Iran Deal

    They warned that designating the IRGC, a powerful arm of Iran's military, a terror group would be a unprecedented step that may endanger US diplomatic and military officials.

    In October 2017, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned of "particular risks and complexities" related to "designating an entire army, so to speak, of a country where that then puts in place certain requirements."

    READ MORE: IRGC Exports 'Destabilizing Influence Throughout Middle East' — White House

    "It then triggers certain actions that we think are not appropriate and not necessarily in the best interests of our military," Tillerson underscored.

    His remarks came after the US Treasury Department announced the expansion of sanctions on the IRGC which were imposed on October 13 over the IRGC allegedly "supporting terrorism," a claim strongly denied by Tehran.

    The Treasury's press release said that the sanctions were specifically slapped on the IRGC's Aerospace Force Self Sufficiency Jihad Organization, Air Force, Al-Ghadir Missile Command, and the Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization.

    After President Donald Trump's announcement about Washington's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, Pompeo warned of the "tightest ever" sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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    Tags:
    designation, terrorist groups, forces, pressure, assets, sanctions, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump, Iran, United States
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