Iran vowed a “firm, decisive, and crushing” response Monday if the U.S. brands its elite Revolutionary Guards a terror group – and said American bases will be under threat if Donald Trump pushes ahead with new sanctions.
President Trump is reportedly preparing to scrap the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, under which the Islamic republic agreed to put curbs on its nuclear program in return for the easing of economic sanctions.
Trump, who has called the accord “the worst deal ever,” is expected to decertify the deal to Congress ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline in the hope of introducing harsher measures against Iran – including designating the Revolutionary Guards a terror group.
Responding to speculation, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said Monday Tehran was “hopeful” the U.S. “does not make this strategic mistake.”
“If they do, Iran’s reaction would be firm, decisive, and crushing, and the United States should bear all its consequences,” he told a news conference, state news agency IRNA reported.
The remarks came a day after Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Revolutionary Guards, warned his forces “will consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world” should the guards be designated a terror group.
He also warned the U.S. would have to relocate its military bases beyond “the 2,000-km range of Iran’s missiles” and vowed Tehran would ramp up its missile program if Trump moved to undercut the deal.
Despite having reluctantly recertified the deal twice before, Trump is expected to decline to do so again, arguing it is no longer in U.S. national interests. Such a move would kick the issue back to Congress to determine how to respond, including potentially reinstating sanctions on Tehran.