Reports of US blacklisting Revolutionary Guard prompts Iranian warning

Donald Trump's administration said to planning to announce decision soon

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 22, 2018 members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, in the capital Tehran. The United States will designate Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, an unprecedented move that would ramp up pressure on the elite force, The Wall Street Journal reported April 5, 2019. The newspaper, quoting unnamed officials, said President Donald Trump's administration would announce the long-mulled decision as soon as Monday and that concerned defense officials were bracing for the impact.
 / AFP / afp / STRINGER
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Iran will designate the US military a terrorist organisation if Washington takes such action against its Revolutionary Guard, a senior official said on Saturday following reports the Trump administration plans to announce its decision within days.

"If the Revolutionary Guards are placed on America's list of terrorist groups, we will put that country's military on the terror blacklist next to Daesh," Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head of the Iranian parliament's national security committee, said on Twitter.

Washington could announce the decision as soon as Monday, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Friday and US officials who spoke to Reuters.

The US president has already imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Iran after withdrawing last year from an international agreement under which Tehran drastically scaled back its nuclear programme.

The Journal said the Pentagon and the CIA had reservations about the move against the move because it would increase risks for US troops abroad without doing much more to damage the Iranian economy.

It would also be the first time the US has designated another country's military force a terrorist group.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp was formed after the 1979 Islamic revolution to defend the clerical regime. Since then it has amassed strong power within Iran, including significant economic interests, and operates outside the country through the Quds Force, which has been involved in training and supporting militias in Iraq and Syria.

The US Treasury designated the Quds Force in 2007 "for its support of terrorism" and has described it as Iran's "primary arm for executing its policy of supporting terrorist and insurgent groups".

The US has already blacklisted dozens of entities and people for affiliations with the IRGC, but not the organisation as a whole.