US to designate Iranian Guards as terrorist organisation

The decision would be the first time Washington formally labels another country's military a terrorist group.
Saturday 06/04/2019
In this file photo taken on September 22, 2018 members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade. (AFP)
In this file photo taken on September 22, 2018 members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade. (AFP)

WASHINGTON - The United States is expected to designate Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organisation, three US officials told Reuters, marking the first time Washington formally labels another country's military a terrorist group.

The decision, which critics warn could open US military and intelligence officials to similar actions by unfriendly governments abroad, is expected to be announced by the US State Department, perhaps as early as Monday, the officials said. It has been rumoured for years.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a strident Iran hawk, has advocated for the change in US policy as part of the Trump administration's hardening posture toward Tehran.

It would come ahead of the first anniversary of President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of an international nuclear deal with Tehran and reimpose sanctions that had crippled Iran's economy.

The administration's decision to make the designation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. 

(Reuters)