Iran says its reaction would be ‘crushing’ if US designated Revolutionary Guards as terrorist group

Iran says its reaction would be ‘crushing’ if US designated Revolutionary Guards as terrorist group
Iran has vowed a “firm and crushing” reaction should Washington decide to include the elite wing of its army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), on its list of terrorist organizations, according to the country’s foreign ministry.

The comments came from Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi on Monday as cited by Tasnim news agency.

“We are hopeful that the United States does not make this strategic mistake,” Qasemi stated during a news conference.

“If they do, Iran's reaction would be firm, decisive and crushing,” he said, adding that the US would have to accept the consequences.

Earlier it was reported that Washington is preparing tougher sanctions on Tehran, including the possible designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group.

US President Donald Trump has taken a tough stance on the Islamic Republic, criticizing it for supporting terrorism and vowing to “put an end to Iran’s continued aggression and nuclear ambitions.”

On Sunday, IRGC chief Mohammad Ali Jafari warned that if the reports are confirmed, the military wing will treat US troops, especially in the Middle East, as they would Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists.

“If the news is correct about the stupidity of the American government in considering the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group, then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American Army to be like Islamic State all around the world, particularly in the Middle East,” Jafari stated.

Washington’s reported threats have prompted France to speak against actions that “could exacerbate the current crises" in the face of “regional instability.”

“With this in mind, regional states have a specific role to play and must show restraint and a sense of responsibility,” French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne stressed, when asked whether Paris would endorse such a step.

The landmark Iranian nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed by the P5+1 group (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the US) and the European Union in 2015. According to the deal, Iran is to limit its nuclear program for 15 years in exchange for easing the pre-existing sanctions.

READ MORE: ‘World will change’: Trump likely to pull out of Iran nuclear deal next week – German FM

During his election campaign Trump repeatedly vowed to scrap the agreement, and during his presidency he has continued to accuse Iran of violating the “spirit” of the deal. This week the US leader is expected to re-certify the agreement, but there are concerns that he may decide to stick to his campaign promises.

Other parties to the agreement, including Germany and the EU, have voiced concerns over the possible scuppering of the deal.