Iran's Revolutionary Guards warn USA against terrorist designation

The Guards also said on June 19 that they had killed the leader and four members of another jihadist group called Ansar al-Furqan in the Iranian port city of Chabahar in Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Mohammad Bagheri, Iran's armed forces chief of staff, warned Washington on Monday that putting the IRGC on the list of terrorist groups will pose a "big risk" for USA forces and its military bases in the region.

"Counting the Revolutionary Guards the same as terrorist groups and applying similar sanctions to the Revolutionary Guards is a big risk for America and its bases and forces deployed in the region", Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri said on Monday, according to Sepah News, an official news site of the Guards.

Referring to the recent United States legislation, Baqeri said American officials should speak a little more "wisely, thoughtfully and maturely" about a powerful country like Iran, adding that his country's missile program was defensive and would never be up for negotiation.

The measure emphasizes that the entire IRGC, "not just the IRGC's Qods Force", is responsible for allegedly conducting destabilizing activities, supporting terrorism and developing Iran's disputed ballistic missile program, a language that would have the practical effect of designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist group.

Iran's army chief said here Monday that Iran's advanced missile power is "defensive and non-negotiable", semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Both Democrats and Republicans in Washington have insisted on responding to Iran's provocative ballistic missile tests for months, but reportedly waited until after the recent Iran election to vote on this legislation. If it passes there, it will go to the president's desk.

Vanessa Coleman