Trump declaring IRGC terrorists cheered by hawks, slammed as ‘step toward conflict’ by critics
The IRGC “actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” Trump said in a statement on Monday.
The designation came on the eve of elections in Israel, where the incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a tough challenge from an opposition coalition. Netanyahu was quick to thank Trump, telling the US president he was “keeping the world safe from Iranian aggression.”
Thank you, President @realDonaldTrump for your decision to designate the Islamic revolutionary guards as a terrorist organization.Once again you are keeping the world safe from Iran aggression and terrorism.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) April 8, 2019
Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the designation a “long overdue step.” His colleague Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) went a step further, calling the IRGC was a “direct arm of the Ayatollah’s hateful policies.”
Today's announcement should be followed by measures to hold the IRGC accountable for its malign activities, incl ballistic missile proliferation, Iran's drive for nuclear weapons, the war in Yemen, human rights atrocities, bolstering the Assad regime & financing Hezbollah.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 8, 2019
This announcement is another example of their commitment to reigning in the destructive and murderous Iranian regime.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 8, 2019
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the IRGC of “actively engaging” in terrorism for 40 years – since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 overthrew the US-backed monarchy. Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton was also jubilant about the designation.
Bolton is super excited at the suddenly increased prospect of a war with Iran. Like a kid in a candy store excited. It's quite sick. https://t.co/z9JAAOgofI— Daniel McAdams (@DanielLMcAdams) April 8, 2019
Monday’s announcement showed “maniac” Bolton was dominating Trump’s foreign policy, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald, who called the IRGC designation “stupid, dangerous & provocative, making it much harder to forge a peace with Iran.”
Trump's designation of IRGC as a terrorist organization is stupid, dangerous & provocative, making it much harder to forge a peace with Iran: more evidence that maniacs like Bolton & David Friedman are dominant. You can't arm & hug Saudis while pretending to oppose terrorism: pic.twitter.com/tN2fgghHi8— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 8, 2019
Iranian-American activist Trita Parsi reasoned along similar lines, saying it is not a coincidence that all doors to diplomacy with Iran are being closed off one by one. Parsi also argued “key US allies” in the Middle East have long pushed Washington into war with Iran; he named no names, but it was clear he was referring to Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Clearly, for some, losing Iran as an enemy is far more terrifying than conflict with Iran. Particularly when they aim to fight Iran to the last American...https://t.co/ZNVZHLabvZ— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) April 8, 2019
Ben Rhodes, adviser to former President Barack Obama and one of the architects of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, said the terrorist designation “only makes sense as a step toward conflict.”
Designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization only makes sense as a step toward conflict https://t.co/KEtpqAQAqJ— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) April 8, 2019
Matt Duss, foreign policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), argued that Trump’s Iran policy has been opposed by “security professionals” and promoted by “ideologues and grifters.”
At every stage, Trump's Iran policy has been opposed by security professionals and driven by a small faction of ideologues and grifters. https://t.co/WIZeQQbzmL— Matt Duss (@mattduss) April 8, 2019
Lebanese journalist Rania Khalek pointed out that Iran was critical to defeating Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in Iraq and Syria as well as Al-Qaeda, describing the designation as “backwards.”
American policy in the Middle East resulted in the creation and spread of ISIS and Al Qaeda. Iran was critical to defeating ISIS and Al Qaeda. It’s hard to find the words to express just how backwards this terror designation is. https://t.co/5nwBWGkmt0— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) April 8, 2019
Designating the IRGC a terrorist organization even as it provided relief to severe flooding in Iran was a “sadistic” move, according to RT America’s Dan Cohen.
At least 70 people have died in late March and early April due to torrential rains triggering floods in 24 out of Iran’s 31 provinces. Tens of thousands of people in nearly 2,000 cities and villages have been affected.
The Trump administration’s designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization comes while it leads rescue efforts for victims of severe flooding in Iran. Extremely sadistic move. https://t.co/J9kSHNHPLwpic.twitter.com/5NjufS3LxP— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) April 8, 2019
Iran has responded to the US designation by placing the US Central Command (CENTCOM) on its own terrorist blacklist.
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