Iran's MPs don uniform of Revolutionary Guards in protest at US

Iran Designates US Central Command 'Terrorist Organisation'

Iran Designates US Central Command 'Terrorist Organisation'

"Iranian lawmakers convened an open session of parliament Tuesday following the White House's decision to designate Iran's elite paramilitary Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organization", reports CBS News.

"The IRGC masquerades as a legitimate military organization, but none of us should be fooled", warned Pompeo.

Iran's rival, Saudi Arabia, welcomed the US decision, describing it as a "serious and practical step to combat terrorism".

While the U.S. Administration says that it continues to pursue zero Iranian oil exports, analysts expect Washington to extend waivers to at least a few of the now exempted buyers, with reduced volumes allowed under the new waivers, as the Administration wouldn't want to push oil prices too high.

"Since past year, we have acquired kind of missiles that you can not even imagine", Rouhani said, referring to Iran's determination to continue expanding its missile program despite mounting USA pressure to curb it.

"Americans and those who are part of the global arrogance want to avenge their defeats and failures by labeling as 'terrorist" a group whose actions and endeavors have always been focused on fighting terrorists", stated Rouhani. "Be aware that, from today, the popularity of the guards in the hearts of the Iranian nation and in the region will be more than ever".

"America has used terrorists as a tool in the region while the Guards have fought against them from Iraq to Syria". The IRGC is subordinate to, and take orders directly from the Ayatollah. He said the organization was at the "forefront" of national defense and claimed the "vice and deceit" of American officials "will return boomerang on them".

Why has the U.S. done this?

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Tehran swiftly retaliated by blacklisting US Central Command as a terrorist organisation, affecting US troops serving in the wider Middle East from the Horn of Africa to Afghanistan.

"This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognises the reality that Iran is not only a state sponsor of terrorism but that the IRGC [the Guards] actively participates in, finances and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft", a statement said.

The president added that the move was meant to "significantly expand the scope and scale" of pressure on Iran.

"You have done everything imaginable", Rouhani said.

As the "waivers window" is shrinking as we approach early May, buyers may be rushing to buy what they can before April to squeeze in under the current waiver in case waivers are not extended, according to analysts.

Chanting "Death to America" the speaker of Iran's Parliament called the designation the "climax of stupidity and ignorance", while the nation's ruling cleric said the plot against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps would backfire.

FILE PHOTO: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech on the first day of Persian New Year, also known as Nowruz in Mashhad, northeast of Tehran, Iran March 21, 2019.

With hundreds of thousands of members, the Revolutionary Guard oversees the country's ballistic missiles and nuclear programs as well as having its hand in lucrative businesses, including Iran's banking, shipping and oil industries.

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