The White House opens a new front of confrontation with Iran. Netanyahu welcomes the initiative. For Damascus it is a "medal of honor" on the chest of the Revolutionary Guards. Pentagon and CIA also express doubts about the decision. Rouhani: the United States the true "leader of global terrorism".
Tehran (AsiaNews) - The White House's decision to include the Revolutionary Guards (pasdaran), militias loyal to Iran's supreme leadership, on the black list of terrorist organizations has opened a new battle front between Washington and Tehran. And it risks fueling new winds of war. For the first time, the United States defines a military organization belonging to another sovereign nation as "terrorist". A decision that triggered the immediate response of the Islamic Republic, which declared American forces stationed in the Middle East (Centcom) a "terrorist organization".
The decision taken yesterday will allow the US government to impose new sanctions against the group, affecting the business sector in which the Pasdarans play an active role in the context of the Iranian economy. In fact, a part of the Revolutionary Guards leadership - and entities affiliated to it - in the past have already been targeted by the United States for (alleged) subversive activities, support for terrorism and violations of human rights.
Announcing the decision, Trump spoke of an "unprecedented step" by the State Department that recognizes "a fact: that Iran is not only a nation sponsoring terrorism, but that the IRGC [Pasdaran acronym] actively participates, finances and promotes terrorism as a tool of government ". The decision, he added, would also make it possible to "significantly" increase the level of pressure on Iran.
The response of Iranian President Rouhani was immediate. In a live speech on state television he exalted the value of the Revolutionary Guards who "sacrificed their lives, to protect our people and our [Islamic 1979] revolution". He then added that the United States is the true "leader of world terrorism" because it uses various groups as "means against the nations of the Middle Eastern region".
Tehran does not exclude the possibility of resuming the construction of the latest generation of nuclear power plants, which can - at least potentially - produce the atomic bomb. And the leaders of the Pasdaran recall that US military bases in the Middle East are "within reach" of Iranian missiles. The threats are added to the hypothesis of closure of the Strait of Hormuz, if Washington continues to "strangle" the economy of the Islamic Republic.
In reality, the attacks of the American administration end up weakening the moderate front and giving new impetus to the conservative and fundamentalist wing.
High officials of the Pentagon and the CIA are among those who criticize the White House decision, which already in May 2018 had created strong internal and international rifts by ordering the withdrawal from the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) wanted by Obama. Among these is the head of the joint general staff of the armed forces Gen. Joe Dunford, along with other prominent military men, that the move could trigger new tensions in the Middle East, without affecting the Iranian economy.
In these hours the first to exult for the decision was the Israeli premier, Benjamin Netanyahu, engaged in the last stages of the electoral campaign. "Thank you - the outgoing Prime Minister declared - for accepting another important request of mine, which serves the interests of our countries and countries in the region". Opposed is the tenor of statements by the Syrian government, which is banned as "irresponsible" by the decision of the White House, which represents an "impudent attack" against a sovereign nation. In a note Damascus also defines a "medal for value" the fact of being called a terrorist group by Washington.