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Iran say to retaliate in kind if U.S. designates Guards as terrorists

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Iran will take reciprocal action against the United States if Washington designates the elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as terrorists, a majority of Iranian parliamentarians said on Sunday, according to state news agency IRNA.

The United States is expected to designate the Revolutionary Guards a foreign terrorist organization, three U.S. officials told Reuters, marking the first time Washington has formally labelled another country’s military a terrorist group.

"We will answer any action taken against this force with a reciprocal action," a statement issued by 255 out of the 290 Iranian lawmakers said, according to IRNA.

However, the IRGC has several activities in other countries as part of Iran’s policy to interfere in the affairs of Arab countries such as Iraq and Lebanon.

In Iraq, Iran sponsors and funds the Iranian Militias in Iraq and Syria (IMIS), which has committed a number of violations and crimes, despite a “main mission” to fight ISIS. While In Lebanon, Iran supports the terrorist Hezbollah militia. Not to mention the Houthis in Yemen.

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

IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari warned in 2017 that if Trump went ahead with the move, "then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world".

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

Set up after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect the Shiite clerical ruling system, the IRGC is Iran's most powerful security organization. It controls large sectors of the Iranian economy and has huge influence in its political system.

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