Netanyahu lauds US terror designation for Iran Guards

Telegram från AFP / Omni
08 april 2019, 17.27

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday lauded the US decision to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organisation, saying President Donald Trump had responded to a "request of mine".

"Thank you, my dear friend, US President Donald Trump, for having decided to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organisation," Netanyahu said in a statement a day ahead of Israeli elections in which he is seeking a fifth term.

"Thank you for responding to another important request of mine, which serves the interests of our countries and countries of the region."

Iran is Israel's main enemy and Netanyahu spoke out strongly against the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. Trump withdrew the United States from the deal after taking office.

Israel says the Revolutionary Guards operates in neighbouring Syria, where Iran has been backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime in his country's civil war.

Netanyahu has pledged to stop Iran from entrenching itself militarily there and Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

Trump said in a statement that the "unprecedented" designation "recognises 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."

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was formed after the 1979 Islamic revolution with a mission to defend the clerical regime, in contrast to more traditional military units that protect borders.