- Title: USA: U.S. may soon label Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group
- Date: 16th August 2007
- Summary: (W5) TEHRAN, IRAN (SEPTEMBER 22, 2006) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF IRANIAN SOLDIERS MARCHING IN MILITARY PARADE
- Embargoed: 1st September 2007 04:22
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVADEMCG77UMO3Q0CDTLUUWVB1F3
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: The United States may soon designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization in a hard-line diplomatic move that will target the finances of the group.
The United States could be about to put more pressure on Iran.
A U.S. official says Iran's Revolutionary Guard may soon be labelled a terrorist group.
The designation, which was initially reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post, would be the first time the United States has placed the armed forces of any sovereign government on its list of terrorist organizations.
Iran experts said ramping up the pressure by squeezing financing for the Guard also was aimed at pacifying those within and outside the Bush administration who wanted military action against Tehran because of its nuclear program and were frustrated that diplomatic pressure had so far not worked.
A U.S. official, who spoke on condition he was not named because the issue was so sensitive, said the United States was looking at making such a move but the final timing had not been decided. Another official confirmed the same.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack declined comment directly, but did say that Iran's Revolutionary Guard did have "tentacles in a range of different activities including business and banking.
"We all know about their support for those groups going after our troops in Iraq, we've also talked about the supplying of arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan and there have also been reports about their linkages to Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations" he said.
Iran is already on the state sponsors of terrorism list but labelling the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group would mean the administration could go after its finances and expanding business network.
Iran scholar Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institute told Reuters: "We will see more hostility from Tehran as a result of this step. I also do not believe that this is not a demonstration that the administration is preparing for military action."
Washington has accused Iran's Revolutionary Guard of being involved in destabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan, charges Tehran has strongly denied.
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