Donald Trump designates Iran’s IRGC as terrorists

April 8, 2019

President Trump on Monday designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorists, saying its sponsorship of terror in Iraq and elsewhere is unacceptable and that he needed to send an “unprecedented” message that it won’t be tolerated.

It is the first time a president has designed a segment of a foreign government as a foreign terrorist organization, or FTO.

The designation is designed to warn individuals or companies off doing businesses with the corps, including its Quds Force, because doing so would be considered a criminal offense by the U.S.

“This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences,” Mr. Trump said in a White House statement. “We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior.”

The IRGC was established after the 1979 revolution to protect the Islamic system in Iran as opposed to regular actions by the military, such as guarding the border.

Mr. Trump, who has taken a hard line on Iran alongside National Security Adviser John R. Bolton, said the corps is acting as the central banker for terrorism, placing it apart from normal global behavior.

“This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime,” Mr. Trump said.

Congressional Republicans applauded Mr. Trump’s move, citing their longtime support for cracking down on the force.

“A formal designation and its consequences may be new, but these IRGC butchers have been terrorists for a long time,” Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, said. “This would be an important step in our maximum-pressure campaign against Iran, the largest state-sponsor of terror and the biggest chaos agent inside the Middle East. This would greatly expand our ability to roll back Iran’s ability to fund and export terror abroad.”