Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warn U.S. against terrorist designation, new sanctions — U.S. announces new sanctions

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned the United States on Monday that if it designated the group a terrorist organization and applied new sanctions its action could be perilous for U.S. forces in the region.

U.S. officials said earlier this year that President Donald Trump’s administration was considering a proposal that could lead to potentially categorizing the powerful Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization.

In Mid-June the U.S. Senate voted for new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and other activities not related to the international nuclear agreement reached with the United States and other world powers in 2015.

To become law, the legislation must pass the House of Representatives and be signed by Trump.

“Counting the Revolutionary Guards the same as terrorist groups and applying similar sanctions to the Revolutionary Guards is a big risk for America and its bases and forces deployed in the region,” said Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri, according to Sepah News, an official news site of the Guards.

He did not give details on what form of risk he foresaw for U.S. forces and bases.

The Revolutionary Guards are the most powerful security force in Iran, overseeing vast economic holdings worth billions of dollars and wielding huge influence in its political system.

Baqeri said on Monday that Iran’s missile program was defensive and would never be up for negotiation, according to Sepah News.

Three days after the U.S. Senate voted on the new sanctions, Iran fired missiles into eastern Syria, targeting bases of Islamic State which had claimed responsibility for attacks in Tehran which killed 18 people.

The Revolutionary Guards are fighting in Syria against militant groups which oppose President Bashar al-Assad.

Baqeri was also critical of recent remarks by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis that regime change would be necessary before the United States could normalize relations with Iran.

“American officials should speak a little more wisely, thoughtfully and maturely about other countries, particularly a powerful country like Iran which has stood against all plots with strength and pride,” he said, according to Sepah News.

Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Richard Balmforth

*****************************************

U.S. targets Iran with new sanctions over missile program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday unveiled new economic sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile program and for contributing to regional tensions and said it was deeply concerned about its “malign activities across the Middle East.”

The announcements came a day after President Donald Trump’s administration warned Tehran that it was not following the spirit of its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.

The U.S. Department of Treasury said in a statement it was targeting 16 entities and individuals for supporting what is said was “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.”

Those sanctioned had backed Iran’s military or Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by developing drones and military equipment, producing and maintaining boats, and procuring electronic components, it said. Others had “orchestrated the theft of U.S. and Western software programs” sold to Iran’s government, the Treasury Department said.

The U.S. State Department had also designated two Iranian organizations involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, according to the Treasury Department.

“The United States remains deeply concerned about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity,” the State Department said in a statement.

It said the activities “undercut whatever ‘positive contributions’ to regional and international peace and security were intended to emerge” from the nuclear agreement.

The statement listed Iranian support for groups including Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas movement as well as the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The Trump administration declared on Monday that Iran was complying with the nuclear deal concluded between Iran and six world powers under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Marguerita Choy

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warn U.S. against terrorist designation, new sanctions — U.S. announces new sanctions”

  1. Brittius Says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: