US ‘futile’ threat playing into IRGC popularity: Iran military chief

Press TV – Washington’s threat against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) through designating it as a “terrorist” organization is rooted in “anger” and a “strategic dead-end” the administration of President Donald Trump is facing, Iran’s military chief says.

“I am confident this futile threat will only serve to increase the IRGC’s popularity,” Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said in a message on Sunday, marking the anniversary of the approval of the IRGC’s statute.

The United States on Monday officially registered the IRGC as a “foreign terrorist organization,” according to a notice published on the website of the US Federal Register.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in his notice that based upon a review of the Administrative Record assembled in this matter, and in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, “I conclude that there is a sufficient factual basis to find that the relevant circumstances described in section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (hereinafter “INA”) (8 U.S.C. 1189), exist with respect to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard[s] Corps, also known as [the] IRGC.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Iran’s top military commander said the elite military force’s role in domestic and regional developments, particularly during the eight-year Iraqi imposed war on Iran, its confrontation with counterrevolutionary groups and foreign mercenaries, and its support for the resistance front, which led to defeat of Daesh and other Takfiri terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, has irked the enemies and the US in particular.

Baqeri hailed the IRGC’s performance in safeguarding the Islamic Revolution’s achievements over the past 40 years, noting that the Iranian nation’s history testifies that the IRGC has managed to properly respond to the enemies’ threats and boost the country’s national power within the framework of the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine.

The top commander emphasized that in addition to reproduction of the components of Iran’s national power, the IRGC has also succeeded in identifying necessary regional potentialities and establishing Iran’s regional power through defeating think thanks serving the US and its allies.

In synergy with other branches of the Armed Forces of Iran, the IRGC has consistently managed to challenge the “cruel system of the global arrogance” in a smart manner, and its highly successful track records have made the “Great Satan” angry and forced Americans to take “foolish and ugly” decisions, Baqeri said.

US President Donald Trump said in a statement on April 8 that the Iranian elite forces’ designation as a foreign “terrorist” group “makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.”

Shortly after Trump’s statement on the IRGC, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) slammed the US government as a “supporter of terrorism,” designating American forces in West Asia, known as the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), as a “terrorist organization.”

In a statement, the SNSC condemned the “illegal and dangerous” move by the White House against the IRGC and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran regards this baseless move as a major threat to regional and international peace and security and a blatant violation of the compelling rules of international law and the United Nations Charter.”

In a meeting with IRGC personnel and their family members in Tehran on April 9, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the recent US decision against the IRGC is rooted in America’s “rancor” against the force, which has been in the forefront of the fight against enemies.

“The IRGC is the vanguard both on the field confronting the enemy on [Iranian] borders and even several thousand kilometers away [in Syria] as well as on the political battleground against the enemy,” the Leader said, adding that Americans hold a grudge against the force for that reason.