Rouhani describes US classification of the Revolutionary Guards as a “terrorist”

File Reuters

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended the Revolutionary Guards as the protector of the Islamic Republic, a day after the United States named the Guards a foreign terrorist organization.

“The guard sacrificed his life to protect our people and our (Islamic) revolution in 1979,” Rouhani said in a televised speech broadcast on Iranian television. “Today, America is carrying a grudge against the guards on its black list of terrorist groups.”

US President Donald Trump on Monday branded the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization in an unprecedented move that would fuel tension in the Middle East.

Tehran responded by declaring the US Central Command a terrorist organization and the US government as a sponsor of terrorism.

Rohani described the US decision as a mistake and other Iranian officials said it would jeopardize US interests in the region. Iran is waging proxy wars in the Middle East.

“This mistake will unite the Iranians and increase the popularity of the Guard in Iran … America is taking terrorists as a means in the region while the Guard is fighting them from Iraq to Syria,” he said.

Relations between Washington and Tehran deteriorated in May when Trump decided to withdraw from the nuclear deal signed by Iran in 2015 with six world powers and re-impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Iran has threatened to break out of the deal and resume its nuclear work if other signatories fail to protect Iran’s interests.

“I tell you, if you press us, we will produce a lot of advanced centrifuges (IR8),” Rowhani said in a speech marking Iran’s National Nuclear Technology Day.

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.

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