The speaker of Iran’s legislature must have been surprised when President Trump this week slapped the Foreign Terrorist Organization label on the country’s Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
In an interview earlier this week, Ali Larijani insisted Trump would not make that move, which put a spotlight on the mullah-led regime’s global agenda of Islam for all.
Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian National Consultative Assembly, told Al-Jazeera he didn’t believe the U.S. had “lost its mind to the extent that it would add the IRGC to its list of terrorist organizations.”
The interview was spotlighted by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Larijani said, “It is true that Trump does unusual things, but he is still somewhat reasonable.”
But what if Trump does make that move, he was asked.
“If the U.S. takes such a step, it would mean that the U.S. military would [also] be considered a terrorist force. The U.S. must take this into consideration.”
The interview was recorded before the U.S. declaration on Monday.
The interviewer asked Larijani would deal with it in practical terms?
“For example, will the U.S. forces in Iraq be attacked? Will the U.S. military be attacked wherever it is close to the Iranian forces?” the interviewer asked.
The speaker replied: “We do not see a reason to elaborate further on this matter, although the general meaning of this is clear.”
Despite Larijani’s confidence that the U.S. would not impose the declaration on Iran, President Trump made the designation Monday.
In a White House statement, he said he “is holding the Iranian regime accountable by targeting the primary entity that carries out its global campaign of terror.”
The Foreign Terrorist Organization designation now will be reviewed by Congress.
The unprecedented move is part of the Trump administration’s broader effort to counter Iranian terrorism around the world, the announcement said. It will increase financial pressure on Iran and isolate it more from the rest of the world.
One goal is to deprive it of the resources it needs to carry out terror.
The White House said the IRGC is running “front companies and institutions around the world to fund terror.”
It is the first time the U.S. has designated a part of another government as a terror group. The White House explained the Iranian regime’s use of terror makes it fundamentally different from other governments.
Iran employs terror as a tool of its government, through the IRGC, which “provides funding, equipment, training and logistical support to terrorist groups.”
The designation makes it a federal crime for any U.S. company to do business with the IRGC.
The move also freezes any assets the IRGC may have in the U.S.