Apr 10 2019

Turkey, Qatar object to U.S. designation of Iran Revolutionary Guards as terror group

Qatar and Turkey have voiced their objection to Washington’s decision to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group, pro-government NTV reported.

"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 the U.S. will formally designate Iran’s IRGC as a foreign terrorist organisation, amid concern by some members of the administration over concerns about potential risks to U.S. troops in the Middle East. The move is part Washington's re-imposing broad economic sanctions on Tehran.

Iran's destabilising behaviour across the Middle East, including support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as for assassination plots in Europe and the United States, are the reasons for the decision, U.S. officials have said.

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

Al-Thani, for his part, said disagreements over the Iranian army’s behaviour should not be solved by imposing sanctions.

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

Formed in 1979, the IRGC is Iran's most powerful military institution and holds deep influence over domestic politics and the economy.