The United States will designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, an unprecedented move that would ramp up pressure on the elite force, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The newspaper, quoting unnamed officials, said President Donald Trump"s
administration would announce the long-mulled decision as soon as Monday and
that concerned defense officials were bracing for the impact.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp was formed after the 1979 Islamic
revolution with a mission to defend the clerical regime, in contrast to more
traditional military units that protect borders.
The Revolutionary Guards have amassed strong power within Iran, including
with significant economic interests.
The Guards" prized unit is the Quds Force, named for the Arabic word for
Jerusalem, which supports forces allied with Iran around the region including
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanon"s Hezbollah.
The Trump administration has already imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran
after withdrawing last year from an international agreement under which
Tehran drastically scaled back its nuclear program.
A foreign terrorist designation would make any activities of the group
toxic for the United States, with any transactions involving US institutions
or individuals subject to punishment.
The Wall Street Journal said that the Pentagon and the CIA had
reservations about the move, saying it would increase risks for US troops
without doing much more to damage the Iranian economy.