US to designate Iranian Revolutionary Guards as terror group, report says

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are said to be leading supporters of the move.

By World Israel News Staff

The Trump administration is preparing to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing U.S. officials.

President Trump is seen as strongly supportive of the new initiative. The move would come nearly a year after the president withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, reached between Tehran and six world powers, including the U.S. Obama administration.

The decision reportedly could be announced as early as Monday.

U.S. officials have been divided over whether to take this measure, says the newspaper. National security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are said to be leading supporters of making the move.

However, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, is among those at the top of the U.S. defense establishment who have concerns about taking the step, says the Wall Street Journal, noting that various officials have voiced the fear that U.S. forces in the region could be endangered.

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Spokesmen for Gen. Dunford, the CIA, and the U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East, declined to comment on the report, says the paper.

The Revolutionary Guard Corps is in charge of Iran’s ballistic missile programs, according to a study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, says the Wall Street Journal.

The Guard’s Quds Force has arranged weapons deliveries to Hezbollah in Syria, prompting confrontations with Israel.

While the U.S. Treasury Department has already taken some steps against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an official designation as a foreign terrorist organization would greatly expand the U.S. ability to act against it and also the companies and individuals which conduct business with the group. The corps reportedly plays a key role in the Iranian economy.