In the first such move of its kind, President Trump has labeled Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Never before has the US made that declaration about a foreign military, reports Reuters. In fact, never before has the US used the label against any part of a foreign government, notes the New York Times. In response, Iran is expected to label the American military a terrorist organization, too, reports NPR. "This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft," Trump said in a statement.
"If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism," Trump said. The IRGC has about 150,000 members, including ground forces, navy, and air force personnel, reports the BBC. The move will allow the US to seek penalties against members of the group and bar their entrance to America. The same applies to individuals or entities providing assistance to the Guard. The Washington Post notes that the move comes one day before Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch ally of Trump who has made Iran a focal point of his tenure, seeks re-election as prime minister of Israel. (Read more Iranian Revolutionary Guard stories.)