If the US designates Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization—as reports state President Trump is likely to do—it would be a "strategic mistake," according to Iran's foreign ministry. "Iran’s reaction would be firm, decisive, and crushing, and the US should bear all its consequences," the Guardian quotes ministry spokesperson Bahram Qasemi as saying Monday. Reuters reports the threats continued from Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, who said such a decision would show "the stupidity of the American government" and would force the Revolutionary Guards to "consider the American army to be like [the] Islamic State." Jafari says the US would have to move its military bases in the region outside the 1,250-mile range of the Revolutionary Guards' missiles.
The US has a complicated relationship with Iran's Revolutionary Guards, which is accused of supporting groups like Hamas and Hezbollah while also helping the US fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Atlantic reports. While the Revolutionary Guards itself has never been listed as a terrorist organization by the US, individuals and groups associated with it have. Experts say Trump designating it a terrorist organization would be a largely political move as the Revolutionary Guards has already had a number of sanctions placed on it by the US. Experts also say past attempts by the US to play tough with the Revolutionary Guards have only strengthened it in Iran, and Trump risks further escalating tensions with the country as he mulls a move to "decertify" the Iran nuclear deal. (Read more Iran stories.)