Call for Americans to Prevent Trump’s Anti-IRGC Move

If the US designates IRGC as a foreign terror organization, such a decision would meet Iran’s decisive, crushing and forceful response
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi attends a press briefing in Tehran on Oct. 10. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi attends a press briefing in Tehran on Oct. 10.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson described the US presidential plan to designate the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps a terrorist group "a strategic mistake" and called on the wise, moderate Americans to stop the hostile move.

"We hope that the US leaders will not add this important, strategic mistake to the list of their previous strategic mistakes and show vision. If they move toward such a decision, it will meet Iran's response that would be decisive, crushing and forceful," Fars News Agency quoted Bahram Qasemi as saying in his weekly press conference on Monday.

"We hope that the wise in the United States will take steps toward preventing such a dangerous decision," he said.

The warning came days before US President Donald Trump announces a much-anticipated foreign policy plan on Iran. He is expected on Oct. 15 to decertify the landmark international deal to curb Iran's nuclear program.

Trump is also expected to designate IRGC a terrorist organization as part of his administration's broader hostile strategy against Iran.

Individuals and entities associated with IRGC and its foreign military wing, Quds Force, are already on the US list of foreign terrorist organizations, but the organization as a whole is not.

Trump's administration earlier this year considered, but then put on hold, adding the IRGC to the list.

White House Press Secretary Huckabee Sanders said on Friday Trump will announce new US responses to Iran's missile tests, alleged support for terrorism and cyber operations as part of his bellicose Iran strategy.

***Fully Geared Up

The announcement and the reports of possible anti-IRGC move led to a tough warning from IRGC Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari on Sunday, who said any further sanctions could trigger an IRGC challenge to the US military presence in the region.

He said Iran would never be compelled by US sanctions to relinquish its regional role and will only strengthen its resolve to push ahead with its defensive missile program.

Jafari stressed that new sanctions would fail to achieve their goal of dragging Iran to the table of negotiations aimed at curbing its regional clout, IRNA reported.

"The Islamic Republic intends to resolve the regional issues at a place other than the negotiating table. There is nothing to negotiate and no [reliable] party to negotiate with," Jafari said.

"The Americans should know that the Islamic Republic would use the Trump administration's stupid behavior toward JCPOA to make great strides in advancing its defensive, regional and missile programs," he said, using the official name of the 2015 nuclear pact, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Trump's likely decertification of the nuclear deal could spell the end of the broadly supported agreement, a potential outcome that has worried other signatories who are all opposed to Trump's harsh stance.

The deal emerged after about two years of negotiations under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama to roll back Tehran's nuclear program in return for the removal of international sanctions.

A deputy foreign minister said the Islamic Republic is fully geared up for even the worst-case scenarios in the aftermath of Trump's decision on the deal.

"If Trump decides to walk away from JCPOA, we have various options before us and we are free to go for any of them," Majid Takht-Ravanchi told IRNA.


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