TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran will ask the international community to take a position on the U.S. designation of its Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif said Sunday.
Iran condemned U.S. President Donald Trump’s step last week as illegal. The IRGC is a powerful popular force established after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect Iran.
"Today ... we will send messages to foreign ministers of all countries to tell them it is necessary for them to express their stances, and to warn them that this unprecedented and dangerous U.S. measure has had and will have consequences,” Zarif was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
Zarif said he had also sent letters to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the United Nations Security Council to protest against "this illegal U.S. measure”.
Tehran retaliated against Washington’s move by designating the regional United States Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist organization.
Relations between Tehran and Washington took a turn for the worse last May when Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, reached before he took office, and reimposed sanctions.
The United States has already blacklisted dozens of entities and people for affiliations with the IRGC, but had not previously targeted the organization as a whole.
IRGC commanders have repeatedly said that U.S. bases in the Middle East and U.S. aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf are within range of Iranian missiles.
Tehran has also threatened to block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf if the United States tries to strangle Iran’s economy by halting its oil exports.
Iran’s oil minister said on Sunday that the supply-demand balance in the global oil market is fragile due to U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and tensions in Libya, and warned of consequences for increasing pressures on Tehran.
Iraqi resistance groups, which have been a major partner in the national army's sweeping counter-terrorism operations, threw their weight behind the IRGC on Saturday.
Representatives of the Iraqi resistance groups visited the residence of the Iranian consul general in the holy city of Najaf, delivering a statement in which they expressed their solidarity with the Iranian force.
They also recalled the IRGC's contribution to Iraqi forces' years-long anti-terror drive and commended its role in preventing several Iraqi states from falling into the hands of Daesh.
A spokesman for the Badr Organization denounced Washington's move against the IRGC as "laughable", saying the label is "coming from the number one sponsor of terrorism, America."
A spokesman for the Fatah (Conquest) alliance also denounced the U.S. designation, saying, "We reject this action from America and say we have honor to be in the Islamic resistance that fought and beat terrorism.”
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said Iraq had tried in vain to stop the U.S. blacklisting of the IRGC. He warned that the measure could have "negative impacts on Iraq and the entire region."
A senior IRGC commander on Saturday blasted the United States for the "foolish decision”.
Brigadier General Hossein Salami said the U.S. itself is a main sponsor of terrorism and has always supported tortures around the world despite laying claims on democracy.
Salami, the second-in-command of the IRGC, said Iran has been a victim of terrorism since the victory of Islamic Revolution in the country in 1979.
General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic General Muhammad Hussein Baqeri has vowed that Iran will "spare no effort” in fighting "terrorist” American forces operating in West Asia region.