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‘Leader of world terrorism’: Iran president fires back at US after IRGC placed on terror list

‘Leader of world terrorism’: Iran president fires back at US after IRGC placed on terror list
The US leads the world in supporting terrorism, including “hiding heads of ISIS,” Iranian president said in a tit-for-tat response to Trump’s decision to designate the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.

“You want to use terrorist groups as tools against the nations of the region… you are the leader of world terrorism,” Hassan Rouhani proclaimed on Tuesday in a televised address to the nation. Continuing, the Iranian president accused the US of shielding jihadists in the Middle East.

Who is propagating and encouraging terrorism in today’s world? Who wanted to use [Islamic State] as a tool?

“Even now America is hiding the heads of ISIS, even now they are not prepared to tell the regional governments where the heads of ISIS are hiding,” he was quoted as saying by various news agencies. 

US President Donald Trump designated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization on Monday. His decision marks, by Washington’s own admission, the first time the US has added another nation’s military force to a terror list.

“Who are you to label revolutionary institutions as terrorists?” Rouhani asked in the Tuesday broadcast. He said Trump’s move was a “mistake” that will unite the nation and make the Revolutionary Guards more popular among Iranians.

Public condemnation aside, the Iranian government had earlier declared the US a “terrorist government” while calling the US Central Command a terrorist group as well. CENTCOM, which covers the Middle East, including Egypt, and Central Asia, undermines Iran’s national security and pursues “aggressive policies” in Western Asia, it alleged.

The US and its allies “have always been advocates of extremist groups and terrorists in the Western Asian region,” the government said, adding that Washington has to take responsibility for “the dangerous consequences of its adventures.”

A host of IRGC-affiliated entities were already targeted by US sanctions for alleged support for terrorism and human rights abuses. Those restrictions came as tensions between Washington and Tehran mounted after Trump withdrew from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear accord.

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