The Trump administration designated Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization Monday—the first time the U.S. has formally labeled an arm of another country’s military a terrorist group. The Pentagon and CIA opposed the decision, warning it could put U.S. troops at risk, but national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed for the move as the U.S. continues its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. This is Secretary Pompeo announcing the decision.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “This is the first time that the United States has designated a part of another government as an FTO. We’re doing it because the Iranian regime’s use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft makes it fundamentally different from any other government. … Businesses and banks around the world now have a clear duty to ensure that companies with which they conduct financial transactions are not connected to the IRGC in any material way.”
On Monday, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council in return designated the United States Central Command, also known as CENTCOM, and all its forces as terrorists. The council also labeled the U.S. a “supporter of terrorism.” We’ll have more on this story after headlines with author and founder of the National Iranian American Council, Trita Parsi.