WASHINGTON – In an unprecedented step to exert pressure on Tehran, the Trump administration plans to appoint Iran's revolutionary guards as "foreign terrorist organizations." It is expected that this step will further isolate Iran and may be of great significance to US personnel and policies in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Trump administration has increased rhetoric against Iran for months, but it will mark the first such appointment by any American of the management of a whole foreign public body. Parts of the Guard, including its elite Cuds forces, were pre-targeted to the United States.
Officials reported that the announcement was expected on Monday.
Two US officials and a congressional assistant confirmed the planned move. They were not authorized to discuss this issue publicly and spoke on anonymity terms. Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Jawad Zarif, seemed to anticipate the appointment, saying on Sunday, Thursday, directed to President Donald Trump that Trump "should know better than being intercepted in another American disaster."
This would be only the last step by the Trump administration to isolate Iran. In May 2018, Trump left a significant nuclear deal between the Obama administration and Iran, and in the following months reinstated punishments, including sanctions targeting Iran's oil, shipping and banking sectors.
t The Wall Street Journal comes with sanctions, including the freezing of assets that the Guard may have in US jurisdictions, and a ban on Americans doing business with it or providing material support for its activities.
Although the Guard has broad control and influence in the Iranian economy, such sanctions on the part of the United States may have limited impact. This appointment, however, can greatly complicate the military and diplomatic work of the United States, especially in Iraq, where many Shiite militias and Iraqi political parties have close ties with the Guard. And in Lebanon, where the guard has close ties with Hezbollah, which is part of the Lebanese government.
Without exception or refusal, US troops and diplomats may be banned from contacting the Iraqi or Lebanese authorities that interact with the Guard officials or surrogates.
The Pentagon and US intelligence agencies have expressed concern about the impact of this appointment if the relocation does not allow contact with foreign officials who may have met with or interacted with the security service. These concerns have partly prevented the previous administrations from taking this step, which has been under consideration for more than ten years.
It was not clear if such a definition would be included.
In addition to these complications, US commanders are concerned that the appointment may urge Iran to respond to US troops in the region, and these commanders plan to prevent US troops remaining in Iraq, Syria and other countries about this opportunity, considers the third American official. This official was not authorized to discuss this issue publicly and spoke on anonymity terms.
In addition to Iraq, which has about 5,200 US troops, as well as Syria, where there are about 2,000 US troops, the US Navy's 5th naval gulf, the Persian Gulf from its base in Bahrain, as well as the Al-Udayid Air Base in Qatar, are potentially under control. a threat. anti-American protests, said the first two American officials. Similar warnings were made public at the beginning of the war in Iraq in 2003, and recently, when the Trump administration announced that it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. , R-Ark, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and elsewhere have long been advocates for the designation. They say it sends an important message to Iran, as well as make it a further blow after Trump withdraws from the 2015 nuclear deal and resumed economic sanctions.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton have called for and have recently been keen on Iran and its "malicious activity" in the region.
Pompeo has clearly stated in the comments of the public that pressure on Tehran will only increase until his behavior changes. Only last week, Pompeo's Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hooke, accused Iran and its representatives of the death of 608 US troops in Iraq between 2003 and 2011.
"Secretary Pompeo will continue to use all the instruments at our disposal to force the regime to change its destructive policy in favor of peace in the region and on its own accord, the people who are the most terrible victims of this regime," said Hook, pointing out that "
The department currently assigns 60 groups such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State and their various branches, Hezbollah and numerous Palestinian factions as "foreign terrorist organizations." But none of them is the state troops
After the Secretary of State announces the appointment in coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury, Congress has seven days to review it. If there are no objections, then it will come into force.
Associated Press reporter Lolita Boldor contributed this report.