Foreign Diplomats Disapprove of US Anti-IRGC Move

Foreign Diplomats Disapprove of US Anti-IRGC MoveForeign Diplomats Disapprove of US Anti-IRGC Move

Senior diplomats around the world have voiced disapproval of the United States’ recent decision to label Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps a terrorist group, warning of its repercussions for Middle East. 
US President Donald Trump announced on Monday his administration’s plan to designate IRGC, including its Quds Force that is in charge of overseas operations, as a foreign terrorist organization. 
The designation is the first time that the United States has ever named a military force of another government as an FTO. 
In response to the move by the White House, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council placed the US Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia, on Iran’s list of terrorist groups at the suggestion of the Foreign Ministry.   
Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson voiced concern on Tuesday, warning against measures that would increase tensions in the region. 
Speaking at a routine press briefing, Lu Kang said China always maintains that all countries should observe the basic guidelines of international relations on the basis of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, rather than pursuing power politics and bullying.
“We hope that relevant countries, especially major powers outside the region, will do more things that are conducive to the peace and stability of the Mideast, instead of taking measures that will lead to further tension in the region,” he was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono also told reporters on Tuesday that his country will not follow the US in the labeling, NHK reported. 
“Japan does not intend to toe the line … [it] has maintained a close relationship with Iran … and [will] continue working to solve problems through discussion and dialogue,” he said. 



’Incomprehensible’ Measure 

Turkey also condemned the US move, saying such measures “would lead to instability in the region”.  
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that the decision against the “official army of Iran ... was incomprehensible.” 
“No country can declare another country’s armed forces a terrorist organization. We also do not support unilateral decisions,” he said during a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, in Ankara on Tuesday. 
Al-Thani also said disagreements over the Iranian Army’s behavior, or that of any other army, should not be solved by imposing sanctions, Arab News reported. 
The neighboring Iraq, which currently hosts American CENTCOM troops, has also expressed concern over the decision, saying it “could have negative repercussions on Iraq and the region”.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday that his country had contacted the US government, King Abdullah of Jordan and the Egyptian government to try to stop the decision to blacklist IRGC. 
“We explained to them that the decision could have negative impacts on Iraq and the entire region, and that such escalation could further disturb the region,” he told a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting, Xinhua reported. 
“We have told Iran and America that we do not want Iraq to be a field of conflicts,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Iraqi President Barham Salih met with Kenneth McKenzie, commander of CENTCOM, in the capital Baghdad, calling for reducing tension in the Middle East.
France on Tuesday called for efforts to avoid any move that would rekindle tension in the region. 
French Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, Agnes von der Muhll, said, “We call for efforts to prevent any further escalation, or destabilization in the region.”

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