World

Iran warns US against listing elite Guards as terrorist group

TEHERAN: Iran promised to give a "crushing" response if the US designated its elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.

The pledge came a week before US President Donald Trump announces his final decision on how he wants to contain Teheran.

He is expected to "decertify" on Oct 15 a landmark 2015 deal to curb Iran's nuclear programme and is also expected to designate Iran's most powerful security force, the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), as a terrorist organisation.

"We are hopeful that the United States does not make this strategic mistake," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told state news agency IRNA at a news conference.

"If (it does), Iran's reaction would be firm, decisive and crushing and the United States should bear all its consequences."

Individuals and entities associated with the IRGC are already on the US list of foreign terrorist organisations but the organisation as a whole is not.

IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said that "if the news is correct about the stupidity of the American government in considering the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group, then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria all around the world".

He added that additional sanctions will end chances for future dialogue and that the US will have to move regional bases outside the 2,000km range of IRGC's missiles.

Mr Qasemi also denied Mr Trump's accusations that Iran had cooperated with North Korea, calling the accusations "baseless". - REUTERS

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