Designating Iran's Revolutionary
Guards as a terrorist organization will severely affect the Iranian economy, Saudi
political analyst Khalid al-Zaatar said, and will cause the IRGC's bank
accounts to be frozen.
He added that such move will also lead to imposing sanctions on all those who deal with the Revolutionary Guards.
US President Donald Trump has designated Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization, BBC reported.
It is the first time the US has labelled another nation's military as a terrorist organisation.
Iran retaliated by declaring US forces in the Middle East as a terrorist organisation, Iran state news reported.
What is the IRGC?
Iran's most elite military unit, the IRGC was set up shortly after the 1979 Iranian revolution.
It has since become a major military, political and economic force in Iran, with close ties to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and many other senior figures hailing from its ranks.
The IRGC is estimated to have more than 150,000 active personnel, boasts its own ground forces, navy and air force, and oversees Iran's strategic weapons, including its ballistic missiles.
The IRGC exerts influence elsewhere in the Middle East by providing money, weapons, technology, training and advice to allied governments and armed groups through its shadowy overseas operations arm, the Quds Force.
How Iran responded?
Iran’s top security council has designated U.S. military forces a
“terrorist organization,” Reuters reported.
Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif tweeted that Trump's designation is just "A(nother) misguided election-eve gift to Netanyahu. A(nother) dangerous U.S. misadventure in the region."
"No other country has the legal right to designate as terrorist another country's armed forces ... Iran's influence in the Middle East and its success in fighting against [ISIS] are reasons behind this designation," state TV said, without quoting a specific official.