Tehran Wants Int’l Position on Trump's Step against IRGC

Monday, 15 April, 2019 - 08:30 -

Tehran Wants Int’l Position on Trump's Step against IRGC

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a news conference on March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Khalid Al-Mousily/File Photo
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Iran will ask the international community to take a position on the US designation of its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday.

“Today we will send messages to foreign ministers of all countries to tell them it is necessary for them to express their stances, and to warn them that this unprecedented and dangerous US measure has had and will have consequences,” Zarif was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

Iran condemned US President Donald Trump’s step last week as illegal after he designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned against pragmatic steps to Trump’s decision after Iran’s Supreme National Security Council designated the US Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist group in retaliation to the American president’s move.

Relations between Tehran and Washington took a turn for the worse last May when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and reimposed sanctions. The US has already blacklisted dozens of entities and people for affiliations with the IRGC but had not previously targeted the organization as a whole.

IRGC commanders have repeatedly said that US bases in the Middle East and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf are within range of Iranian missiles. Tehran has also threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if the United States tries to strangle Iran’s economy by halting its oil exports.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday that the supply-demand balance in the global oil market is fragile due to US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and tensions in Libya, and warned of consequences for increasing pressures on Tehran.

France, Britain and Germany, other signatories of the nuclear accord, have set up a new mechanism for non-dollar trade with Iran to protect against US sanctions.

Zarif complained on Sunday about the delay in the implementation of the mechanism and urged Europe to make it operational as quickly as possible. “The Europeans should not believe that Iran will wait for long,” he said.

Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova considered last Thursday that designating IRGC a terrorist group is a continuity of US methodology in demoralizing Iran, according to Russia Today.