Iran's elite military branch, the Revolutionary Guard, will be officially designated a terrorist organization by the US, the Washington Post reports. The declaration will allow Washington to block assets and disrupt the operations of businesses linked to the unit worldwide. The 125,000-member Guard, a powerful political force, is increasingly supporting terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, officials say.
"They are heavily involved in everything from pharmaceuticals to telecommunications and pipelines," said one expert. "Many front companies engaged in procuring nuclear technology are owned by the Revolutionary Guard." It's the first time the US has designated a national military organization a terrorist group. Critics say the move will only heighten tensions between the nations.