Syria denounces US labeling Iran Guards a terror group as ‘blatant attack’
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Syria denounces US labeling Iran Guards a terror group as ‘blatant attack’

Damascus calls Washington decision to designate IRGC a foreign terrorist organization a ‘badge of honor’ for Iranian military force

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, shakes hands with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, before their meeting in Tehran, Iran, on February 25, 2019.  (SANA via AP)
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, shakes hands with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, before their meeting in Tehran, Iran, on February 25, 2019. (SANA via AP)

DAMASCUS — The Syrian government condemned as irresponsible a US decision on Monday to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a “terrorist group,” calling it a “badge of honor” for the Islamic republic.

A foreign ministry source told state news agency SANA the US move against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was “a blatant attack” on the sovereignty of Iran, a strong ally of Syria.

But the source said the “irresponsible step” was also recognition of the Guards’ important role in defending the country’s sovereignty, its independence and its resistance against the US and Israel, SANA said.

“The US move is a badge of honor,” SANA said, citing the foreign ministry source.

Members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade, marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, in the capital Tehran, on September 22, 2018. (AFP/STR)

Iran has been steadfast supporter the Syrian government during the country’s civil war and a key player along with Russia and Turkey in efforts to bring the devastating conflict to an end.

US President Donald Trump said 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,” Trump said in a statement.

It is the first time the United States has applied the designation to part of a foreign government, rather than guerrilla groups or other informal entities.

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