The United States has officially designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, marking the first time a government entity has been classified as such.
"The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies,” President Donald Trump released in a statement. "Today, I am formally announcing my Administration’s plan to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including its Qods Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft. The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign."
"This designation will be the first time that the United States has ever named a part of another government as a FTO. It underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments. This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime. It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism," he continued. "This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences. We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior."
Secretary Mike Pompeo backed the announcement from the State Department.
In an important step to counter the Iranian regime’s terrorism, the U.S. has designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, incl. Qods Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. We must help the people of Iran get back their freedom. pic.twitter.com/T65CxJjRrr— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) April 8, 2019
The use of terrorism is central to the Iranian regime’s foreign policy. The designation of IRGC, incl. Qods Force, will help starve the regime of the means to execute this destructive policy. Maximum pressure will be unrelenting until Iran’s regime abandons its deadly ambitions.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) April 8, 2019
During a phone call with reporters Monday morning, senior White House officials stressed this policy is one President Trump has called for repeatedly and it is now being implemented. European banks still doing business with Iran through the Iran nuclear agreement, which the United States pulled out of in 2018, will face new consequences for funding terrorism.
Further, White House officials pointed out Iranian terrorism is responsible for murdering hundreds of Americans.