Iranian lawmakers preparing bill to blacklist US forces as terrorists

FNA – Iranian parliamentarians have prepared a bill to designate the US military forces as a terrorist entity in response to a similar move by Washington against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), a ranking MP said.

“If the US pursues attempts to put the name of IRGC in the list of terrorist groups, we will ratify the bill,” senior member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Seyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini told FNA on Sunday.

According to him, the bill is titled ‘the bill to put the US military forces and their bases in the region on the terrorism list’.

The remarks came after a report by the Wall Street Journal claimed that the US officials plan to designate the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. The move could be announced as early as Monday, April 8, according to WSJ. If carried out, it will mark the first time another country’s military has been branded as a terrorist group.

Back in October 2017, IRGC Top Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari provided a tough response to a similar threat by the US to designate the Iranian national military force as a terrorist group.

Downplaying certain US officials’ war rhetoric against Iran, he said, “The Americans fear the consequences of war with Iran and know that if such a war starts, they will lose and therefore, they are after hitting a blow to the Islamic Republic through soft war and economic pressure.”

Gen. Jafari noted reports coming from Washington that the US president’s new strategy entails designation of the IRGC itself as a terrorist organization, and issued a tough warning to Donald Trump, saying, “If reports prove to be true that the stupid US administration intends to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, then the IRGC will also specify the US army as a group (and target) like ISIL in all parts of the world, specially the Middle-East.”

He further noted the US objective behind its growing hostilities towards Iran, saying the US is wrong to think that threatening Iran and imposing new sanctions on the country can force Tehran to sit to the negotiating table on the regional issues.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran intends to solve the regional issues somewhere else other than the negotiating table; (the US should know that) there is (absolutely) nothing and no one to negotiate about or with,” the IRGC chief commander stressed.

He said any new US sanctions would ruin the chances for any kind of interaction “forever”. “These sanctions accomplish the experience of the nuclear deal for us. An experience that showed that the US makes use of talks as a means of pressure and hostility rather than interaction or problem solving.”

“The Americans should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran will use the opportunity provided by the Trump administration’s stupid behavior towards the nuclear deal to make a leap in its conventional defense, missile and regional programs,” he added.

Later in the same month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the administration of his US counterpart Donald Trump to avoid the grave mistake of labeling the IRGC as a terrorist group.

“If the US makes the next mistake and adopts a measure against the IRGC, it will be the worst mistake,” President Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran.

Noting that Washington is mistaken if it considers the IRGC as merely a military body, he said that the IRGC has found its way into the hearts of the Iranian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Syrian, Lebanese and other Muslim nations as it has helped them to get rid of terrorists and defend their lands.

Days earlier, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had also blasted the US for its hostile policies against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and warned of Tehran’s tough response if Washington labeled the IRGC as a terrorist group.