Iranian President Hassan Rouhani put the final flourish on his country’s decision to designate the U.S. government as a sponsor of terrorism when he signed a retaliatory bill into law Tuesday.
Iran’s parliament passed the bill earlier in April, reported Reuters. It labels all U.S. forces in the Middle East as terrorists and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist organization. CENTCOM’s area of responsibility includes the Middle East, Egypt and parts of central Asia.
The move is a reaction to President Donald Trump’s designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization April 8. The designation allows the Treasury Department to impose sanctions not only on the IRGC itself but entities that do business with it.
Iran’s intelligence and foreign affairs ministries, armed forces and national security council will implement the retaliatory law per Rouhani’s instruction.
Rouhani also said the country will keep exporting oil despite U.S. sanctions.
The IGRC is estimated as 125,000 men strong with army, navy and air units, according to Reuters.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei controls the IGRC.
“They wish to plot against our Sepah … it is in the front line of confronting enemies of our [1979 Islamic] revolution and has always defended the country … America has failed to block our advances,” Khamenei said in reaction to Trump’s move earlier in April, according to state media cited by Reuters.
“In spite of all the pressure over the past 40 years, Americans have failed to do a damn thing and their vicious move will bear no fruit,” Khameini continued.
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