The Iranian Parliament on Tuesday approved the overall contents of a bill to counter the United States’ recent designation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a “terrorist organization” after an overwhelming majority of the lawmakers voted in its favor.
The bill received a crushing support of the legislators with 254 yes and only 2 no votes. None of the MPs abstained.
The bill condemns the US move against the IRGC as the official military branch of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Armed Forces based on Article 150 of the Constitution, and declares the US Central Command (CENTCOM) and organizations and institutions under its command as “terrorists”, reiterating that any military, intelligence, financial, technical, training, service and logistical assistance to these forces will be considered as a terrorist act”.
It requires the government to firmly reciprocate the US forces’ terrorist acts which endanger Iran’s interests, and says, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s government and Armed Forces are required to adopt preventive actions and preemptive defensive measures whenever necessary, to deter any hostile US forces’ use of any possibilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s interests.”
The bill also calls on the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces to gather intelligence on CENTCOM commanders and organizations under its command to be sued legally, adding that the judiciary is also required to develop a mechanism to this end.
“The government is required to render legal, material and non-material support to all Iranian and foreign real and legal persons who are harmed for cooperation with the IRGC” under the US designation, it adds.
The bill also asked the General Staff of the Armed Forces and the foreign and defense ministries to use their political, legal and diplomatic capacities to shut down the US bases in the region and end the American forces’ utilization of the regional countries’ facilities, equipment and financial resources.
It also warns all countries and real and legal persons who support the US decision against the IRGC and help its implementation that they would be included in Iran’s reciprocal measures, adding that any restrictions against the IRGC in any part of the world will be reciprocated.
The bill requires the government to protest and take legal action against the US illegal move to designate the IRGC as a “terrorist organization”, and report every 4 months to the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on its performance under the bill.
It also stresses that all the contents of the bill that are pertinent to the Armed Forces should be enforced based on a relevant command of the commander-in-chief (Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei), adding that the bill should be put in force immediately after approval.
The bill was approved in the parliament just a day after the IRGC was formally blacklisted by the US as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” following a relevant announcement by President Donald Trump on 8 April.
Responding to Washington’s move, Iran immediately declared the US as “state sponsor of terrorism” and American forces in the region “terrorist groups”.
Iran’s top security body, the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), in a statement declared the United States a “terrorist government”, and blacklisted the “CENTCOM and all its affiliates a terrorist group”.
The SNSC – that is headed by President Hassan Rouhani – condemned Washington’s move, calling it “an illegal and dangerous action” that poses a “major threat to regional and international peace and security and grossly violates the rules of international law”.
The statement further condemned the US decision as “unlawful and unreasonable action” prompted by the Islamic Republic’s regional influence and success in fighting against terrorists, and blamed CENTCOM for harming Iran’s national security as well as ruining the lives of “innocent Iranian and non-Iranian individuals” to promote the US “aggressive policies” in West Asia (the Middle-East).
“The Islamic Republic of Iran regards this baseless move as a major threat to regional and international peace and security and a blatant violation of the compelling rules of international law and the United Nations Charter,” Iran’s top security body reiterated.
Also, IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jaafari blasted Washington for designating the IRGC as a “terrorist organization”, stressing that his forces would further increase power in the year ahead.
General Jaafari described the US move as “ridiculous”, saying that “the IRGC is in the hearts of the people”.
“God willing, the IRGC will grow stronger in the coming year in defensive and offensive fields more than before,” he said.
“Much to enemies’ dismay, the IRGC and the Army will stand together and will continue to support the deprived and the oppressed people all over the world without fear,” General Jaafari said last Wednesday.
Source: Fars news agency