RNA - "During the session, the Foreign Minister condemned the US possible blacklisting of the IRGC as terrorist group and said such a measure entails numerous dangers," Rapporteur of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Ali Najafi Khoshroudi quoted Zarif as saying in his Monday meeting with members of the Commission in Tehran.
"Although the Islamic Republic of Iran has not and is not after tension, it will reciprocate (the move) if the US makes such a decision," he quoted Zarif as saying.
He also said that the Foreign Ministry has taken action against a possible blacklisting of the IRGC by the US, and has sent a note of protest to the Swiss embassy in Tehran - that represents the US interests section in absence of formal diplomatic ties between Washington and Tehran.
The remarks came after a report by the Wall Street Journal claimed that the US officials plan to designate the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. The move could be announced as early as Monday, April 8, according to WSJ. If carried out, it will mark the first time another country's military has been branded as a terrorist group.
In response, IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari warned that the US Army would lose its current status of ease and serenity in West Asia if Washington designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization.
“If (the Americans) make such a stupid move, the US Army and American security forces stationed in West Asia (Middle-East) will lose their current status of ease and serenity,” Major General Jafari warned Washington on Sunday.
“If they make a stupid move as such and endanger out national security, a reciprocal move will be placed on our agenda and then put into operation based on the policies of the Establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the General reiterated.
According to Fars News Agency, Gen. Jafari had also provided a tough response to a similar threat by the US in in October 2017 to designate the Iranian national military force as a terrorist group.
"If reports prove to be true that the stupid US administration intends to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, then the IRGC will also specify the US army as a group (and target) like ISIL in all parts of the world, specially the Middle-East," Gen. Jafari said in a tough warning to the Donald Trump administration.
Downplaying certain US officials' war rhetoric against Iran, he said, "The Americans fear the consequences of war with Iran and know that if such a war starts, they will lose and therefore, they are after hitting a blow to the Islamic Republic through soft war and economic pressure."
Later the same month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the administration of his US counterpart Donald Trump to avoid the grave mistake of labeling the IRGC as a terrorist group.
"If the US makes the next mistake and adopts a measure against the IRGC, it will be the worst mistake," President Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran.
Noting that Washington is mistaken if it considers the IRGC as merely a military body, he said that the IRGC has found its way into the hearts of the Iranian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Syrian, Lebanese and other Muslim nations as it has helped them to get rid of terrorists and defend their lands.
Days earlier, Zarif had also blasted the US for its hostile policies against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and warned of Tehran's tough response if Washington labeled the IRGC as a terrorist group.