IRGC de­serves recog­ni­tion as anti-ter­ror force

Tehran Times - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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