Iran calls U.S. blacklisting of guards “vicious move”
Iran's leaders on Tuesday responded strongly to the White House's decision to label Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps a foreign terrorist organization.
It's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who controls the Guards, reportedly called it "a vicious move" that will "bear no fruit." While President Hassan Rouhani called it an act of "vengeance." (SOUNDBITE)(Farsi) IRANIAN PRESIDENT, HASSAN ROUHANI, SAYING: "How can you expect the Guards not to be the target of vengeance and anger from the Americans and the Zionists?
They have tried to hatch plots against the Iranian nation over the last forty years." U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the unprecedented move on Monday (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "Today the United States is continuing to build its maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime." It's the first time Washington has formally designated another country's military a terrorist group.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "We're doing it because the Iranian regime's use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft makes it fundamentally different from any other government." Iran took retaliatory action by naming the U.S. Central Command - known as CENTCOM - a terrorist organization and the U.S. government a sponsor of terror.
The decision by the White House comes after relations between Tehran and Washington took a turn for the worse last May, when Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and reimposed sanctions.
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