‘IT’S AN ILLEGAL MEASURE’ Iran demands countries PICK SIDES between them and the US

Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned the US President today and said: “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 US measure has had and will have consequences.” The IRGC is a powerful elite force which controls much of the Iranian state and economy. Mr Trump’s move to label the IRGC as a terror group last week has flared tensions between the two states. 

Tehran retaliated by naming the regional United States Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist organisation.

Mr Zarif has further fuelled tensions by calling Mr Trump’s move illegal. 

He said he sent letters to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the United Nations Security Council to protest against "this illegal U.S. measure".

Washington has previously blacklisted people and groups for affiliations with the IRGC, but this is the first time the organisation as a whole has been targeted. 

Revolutionary Guards commanders have repeatedly made thinly veiled threats that US bases in the Middle East and air craft carriers in the Gulf are within range of Iran’s missiles.

Yesterday, thousands of Iranians took part in angry anti-American demonstrations in response to Mr Trump’s brash action.

Protestors marched through Tehran carrying signs reading "I'm a Guard too" and "Down with USA” and chanting "What's America thinking? Iran is full of Guards”. 

General Kioumars Heydari, head of the regular Iranian army's ground forces, said: "Americans should know that this is a self-inflicted blow, meaning that they are jeopardising the security of their own troops in CENTCOM and across the world.”

Ayatollah Mohammadali Movahedi Kermani told worshippers at Friday prayers: "Today, it has been proven to the people of the world and of this region in particular that America is the mother of all terrorism.”

Tense relations between Tehran and Washington took a turn for the worse last May when Mr Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, reached before he took office, and reimposed sanctions.

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