‘I’m a Guard too’: Iranians respond to IRGC blacklisting

April 12, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranians on Friday took to the streets across the country to protest against the U.S. designation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.

The rallies were held after Friday prayers, when protesters chanted slogans and carried signs reading “I’m a Guard too”, “Down with USA” and “Down with Israel”.

At the end of their march, the protesters issued a statement denouncing the designation as a move against the Iranian nation and the country’s national interests, Tasnim reported.

The statement referred to U.S. atrocities in Yemen, Nigeria, Bahrain, Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq as an example of state-sponsored terrorism and called for an all-out confrontation with the U.S. and its servants, including the “bloodthirsty Zionist regime and Al Saud.”

On April 8, U.S. President Donald Trump decalred the IRGC as a “foreign terrorist organization”, marking the first time the U.S. has formally labeled another country’s military a terrorist group.

Responding to the move, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council immediately declared the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism and U.S. forces in the region as terrorists.

The SNSC said it has put the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) on its terror list as a “reciprocal measure” against the U.S. “illegal and unwise” move.

‘IRGC can raze Tel Aviv to the ground if Leader allows it’

Tehran Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Movahedi Kermani warned Trump about the consequences of the provocative action, saying “the Guards can raze Tel Aviv to the ground if the Leader gives permission.”

Addressing worshippers while dressed in an IRGC uniform, Movahedi Kermani said the U.S. move has unified all factions within Iran. “The idiots do not know that all of Iran are the Guards Corps and all of us are the Guards of the Revolution,” he said.

‘America is mother of terrorism’ 

He added, “Today, for the people of the world, especially the people of the region, it has been proven that America is the mother of terrorism.” 

“Many countries in the world have called into question America’s move because they think it can complicate the situation in the Middle East,” the senior cleric said, adding that even some American analysts have described it as “a dangerous act that would endanger American soldiers’ lives.”

“They know that this was a very stupid action,” he stated.

In a commentary on CNN on April 9, Jonathan Cristol, a research fellow in the Levermore Global Scholars Program at Adelphi University, wrote, “The designation of the IRGC as an FTO will do little to reverse Iran's influence in Iraq. But it will make life more difficult for American forces and diplomats in Iraq, which is why many inside the State Department and Defense Department have opposed this decision.”

Cristol also said, “And while the United States may not work directly with Iran in Iraq, the two states have a shared interest in ensuring that ISIS does not reemerge and that other radical groups do not gain a foothold.”

The scholar said Iraqis prefer Iran as a regional power over the United States.

“If Iraqis need to choose between doing business with the United States, or doing business with Iran, they may well decide to maintain a good relationship with the regional power that isn't going anywhere, rather than with a Washington that seems eager to withdraw from the region,” noted Cristol who also serves as senior fellow at the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College.

MH/PA

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