Iran threatens to blacklist United States army

Trump administration expected to designate Iran's IRGC as a terrorist group

The expected shift in Washington's policy was initially reported by the Wall Street Journal on Friday, which cited unnamed USA officials claiming it could be rolled out as soon as Monday.

"If the IRGC is placed on the US's list of terrorist groups, we will put the country's military personnel on the terrorist blacklist alongside ISIL", chairman of the Iranian Parliament's Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh tweeted on Saturday.

Reports that Washington is preparing to officially designate Iran's elite military unit as a "terrorist organization" appeared earlier this week.

The decades-long conflict between Tehran and Washington reignited past year when President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic republic.

The new designation of the IRGC would allow the U.S.to act against companies and individuals who do business with the IRGC.

"#NetanyahuFirsters who have long agitated for FTO designation of the IRGC fully understand its consequences for United States forces in the region", Zarif wrote on Twitter, referring to supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, Iran's regional arch-enemy.

The move would come almost a year after the president withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, reached between Tehran and six world powers, including the U.S. Obama administration.

But defence officials have previously revealed troops in Syria and Iraq often operate within close proximity to members of IRGC.

"#NetanyahuFirsters who have long agitated for FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organisation) of the IRGC fully understand its consequences for USA forces in the region".

IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari warned in 2017 that if Trump went ahead with the move "then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world".

Iranian lawmakers have also issued a statement expressing full support for the country's armed forces, especially the I-R-G-C.

"The IRGC is already fully sanctioned and this escalation absolutely endangers our troops in the region".

The force is in charge of Iran's ballistic missiles and nuclear programmes, and answers directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It is unclear what impact the USA designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization might have on America's activities in countries that have ties with Tehran, including in Iraq.

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