Turkey, Qatar object to US designation of Iran’s military as terrorist group: report

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PHOTO: RFE/RL

Qatar and Turkey have voiced objections to Washington’s decision to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group, the pro-government NTV reported, according to the Ahval news website.

“We do not support Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Syria, but no country can declare another country’s armed forces a terrorist organization. We also do not support unilateral decisions,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said during a joint press conference in Ankara with his Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

The United States on Monday announced that it would formally designate Iran’s IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization amid concerns by some members of the administration about potential risks to US troops in the Middle East. The move is part of Washington’s re-imposition of broad economic sanctions on Tehran.

Iran’s destabilizing behavior across the Middle East, including support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as assassination plots in Europe and the United States are the reasons for the decision, US officials have said.

“Such measures would lead to instability in the region,” Çavuşoğlu said on Wednesday.

Al-Thani said disagreements over the Iranian army’s behavior should not be resolved by imposing sanctions.

Washington’s move marks the first time the United States has formally labeled another nation’s military as a terrorist group.

Formed in 1979, the IRGC is Iran’s most powerful military institution and exerts significant influence over domestic politics and the economy.

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