President Donald Trump on Monday (April 8th) announced the US is designating Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO), AFP reported.
Trump said in a statement that the "unprecedented" move "recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft".
"The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign," the statement said.
"This designation will be the first time that the US has ever named a part of another government as a FTO. It underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments," it said.
"This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime. It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC," it added.
"If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism."
"This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences. We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behaviour," the statement said.
The administration "is taking this unprecedented step as part of a broader effort to counter Iran-backed terrorism around the world", the White House said.
The move is intended to "increase the financial pressure and isolation of Iran and deprive the regime of resources it uses for its terrorist activities", it added.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday warned all banks and business of consequences of dealing with the IRGC.
"Businesses and banks around the world now have a clear duty to ensure that companies with which they conduct financial transactions are not connected with the IRGC in any material way," he said.