IRGC deserves recognition as anti-terror force
TEHRAN — The Iranian government says the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps deserves recognition as an anti-terror force not least because of its successes in fighting ISIS.
The government’s strong backing of the IRGC’s record comes as this week U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal and possibly designate the IRGC a terrorist organization as part of his new Iran strategy.
“The world must realistically acknowledge the Guards’ defense against terrorist onslaughts, and that the world surely does,” government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht asserted during a press conference on Tuesday.
Nobakht said the IRGC is, in contrast to Washington’s claims, an anti-terrorist organization.
Nobakht also hailed the IRGC as one of the country’s pillars of power, saying the Iranians would never forget the IRGC’s sacrifices in defending the country.
Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Tuesday that “the Americans are too small to be able to harm the Revolutionary Guards.”
According to ISNA, Velayati said, “We have all options on the table. Whatever they do, we will take reciprocal measures.”
On Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry also threatened to give a “crushing” response if Trump designates the IRGC as a terrorist group.
“We are hopeful that the United States does not make this strategic mistake,” ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told a regular news briefing.
“If they do, Iran’s reaction would be firm, decisive and crushing and the United States should bear all its consequences,” Qassemi asserted.
Also, Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC chief, warned on Sunday that if Trump’s administration designates the IRGC terrorist then the IRGC will treat the U.S. troops like Daesh.
“If the news is correct about the stupidity of the American government in considering the Guards a terrorist group, then the Guards will consider the American army to be like Daesh all around the world particularly in the Middle East,” Jafari said.
FM Zarif and IRGC Commander Jafari smiling during a meeting in Tehran on Monday marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. After the meeting, the IRGC chief said Iran’s diplomatic approach and defense policies are in harmony though the tone for expression of positions is different. Zarif also said the IRGC is a source of national honor and guarantor of defending the country against threats.