UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that the United States had taken “an evil step” when the Revolutionary Guards named a foreign terrorist organization and Tehran vowed to take action against US forces in the region.
US President Donald Trump on Monday branded the Revolutionary Guards a foreign terrorist organization in an unprecedented move that would fuel tension in the Middle East.
Khamenei said in a speech to a group of members of the Revolutionary Guard that the Americans “have a desire to conspire against the (Guard) … He (the Guard) is at the forefront of confronting the enemies of our revolution (Islamic in 1979) and always defended the country … America failed In stopping our progress.”
“Despite all the pressure in the past 40 years, the Americans have failed to do anything and their evil steps will not bear fruit,” he said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also defended the Revolutionary Guards, who described his men as Iran’s protectors, and said in a televised address that the United States “grudges” the guards who “sacrificed their lives to protect our people and our revolution.”
The Revolutionary Guard is estimated to have 125,000 personnel, including military, naval and air units, and the Basij, a paramilitary paramilitary force, controls Iranian missile programs. The external Revolutionary Guard Corps known as the Quds Force fought Iran’s proxy wars in the region.
Before the United States blacklisted dozens of entities and individuals dealing with the Revolutionary Guard but did not ban the Guard as a whole.
The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard refused to classify Washington as a terrorist organization and said the Guards would increase its military capabilities.
“This American move is very laughable because the Revolutionary Guards are in the hearts of citizens … The Revolutionary Guard will increase its defensive and offensive capabilities in the coming years,” the official radio and television news agency quoted Mohammad Ali Jafari as saying.
Trump’s move came after relations between Washington and Tehran deteriorated in May when the US president decided to withdraw from the nuclear deal signed by Iran in 2015 with six world powers and re-impose sanctions.
Tehran responded to the classification of the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization by declaring the US Central Command a terrorist organization and the US government as a sponsor of terrorism. Iranian officials also warned that the move would threaten US interests in the region in which Iran is waging proxy wars.
“Iran will use all its resources to fight against the US Central Command,” said the head of the armed forces of Iran, the country’s largest military body, which oversees the Revolutionary Guards.
“Mr. Trump told your warship not to go near the Revolutionary Guard boats,” Mohsen Rezai, the ISNA news agency, was quoted as saying in a tweet on Twitter.
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday welcomed US action against the Revolutionary Guard but Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said the US move could have negative consequences for Iraq and the region.
“We tried to stop the US decision and we had contacts with King Abdullah, Egypt and the US administration, but they went ahead and made the decision,” Abdul Mahdi told reporters.
He added that Iraq will do everything in its power to achieve calm in the region because it maintains good relations with both Tehran and Washington.
France called for avoiding any escalation of tension in the Middle East.
Revolutionary Guards commanders have repeatedly said US bases in the Middle East and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf are within range of Iranian missiles.
Iran has also threatened to halt oil shipments across the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if the United States tries to stifle its economy by halting Iranian oil exports.
– “Patience has limits” –
Iran’s parliamentarians wore the uniform of the Revolutionary Guard in a gesture of solidarity at the parliament session on Tuesday and chanted “Death to America” while Iran celebrates the National Guard Day, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
“America’s decision to classify the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization represents the stupidity and ignorance of the American leadership,” the parliament’s president Ali Larijani was quoted as saying.
Iran has so far been bound by a nuclear deal, but its rulers have threatened to withdraw from it and resume nuclear activity if other signatories fail to protect Iran’s interests.
“I tell you (US leaders), if you press us, we will produce a lot of centrifuges,” he said in a speech on Iran’s National Nuclear Technology Day.
Under the nuclear deal, it was decided to lift the sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations on Iran in return for agreeing to a long-term restriction of its nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at producing an atomic bomb.
The Trump administration says the nuclear deal is not enough to limit Iran’s interference in the affairs of countries in the region or restrict its ballistic missile program.
“Since last year we have a kind of missile that you can not imagine,” Rohani said, referring to Iran’s insistence on expanding its missile program despite mounting US pressure to curb it.
Britain, France and Germany, a signatory to the nuclear deal, are trying to salvage the deal and in January formed a mechanism to trade with Iran and circumvent US sanctions.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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