In a tit for tat move, the Islamic Republic's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) on Monday, April 8, designated the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in the Middle-East and all its affiliates as a terrorist entity.
The decision was officially declared minutes after U.S. President Donald Trump designated the Iranian Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.
In a statement published on Monday, SNSC condemned President Trump's move as “an illegal and dangerous action” that poses a “major threat to the regional and international peace and security and grossly violates the UN Charter, as well as the rules of international law."
"The Islamic Republic of Iran regards this baseless move as a major threat to regional and international peace and security and a blatant violation of the compelling rules of international law and the United Nations Charter," SNSC reiterated.
On Tuesday April 9, President Hassan Rouhani in a speech attacked Washington's decision saying it was an act of grudge and enmity resulting from "defeats" the U.S. has experienced.
The Council, presided by President Hassan Rouhani, also insisted that Washington will be held responsible for "all consequences of its adventurous action."
Earlier Monday, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had written a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, urging him to put the US Central Command (US CENTCOM) on Iran’s list of terrorist organizations according to "the law of dealing with human rights violations and U.S. adventurous and terrorist acts in the region", previously approved by Majlis (the Iranian parliament).
The law that Zarif has referred to was approved by parliament last year in response to U.S. Congress' decision to reinforce sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.
However, at the time of the passage of the law, many analysts dismissed it as a "propaganda piece," insisting that Tehran's reciprocal actions could not jeopardize or threaten the US interests.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of parliaments' Commission of National Security and Foreign Policy, Ali Najafi Khoshroodi, says that, in a letter to Switzerland's Embassy in Tehran, the Islamic Republic Foreign Ministry has warned against the consequences of designating IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.
The Embassy of Switzerland in Tehran has been serving as the Protecting Power of the USA in Iran since 21 May 1980; months after American diplomats were taken hostage in Iran.
The details of the letter delivered to the Swiss embassy have been kept confidential, so far.
In an orchestrated move before the SNSC's decision, the senior officials of the Islamic Republic, including the speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, and the Chief-Commander of the IRGC, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari had warned that Tehran would put in motion reciprocal actions against the U.S. military forces and intelligence personnel in the region if Washington labels it a “terrorist organization.”
The United States Central Command (USCENTCOM or CENTCOM) is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command of the U.S. Department of Defense. It was established in 1983, taking over the previous responsibilities of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF).
The CENTCOM area of responsibility is the Middle East, as well as Egypt, Central Asia and most notably Afghanistan.
The possibility of designating IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization had been on table since August 2, 2017, when the Trump signed into law the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (Public Law 115-44) (CAATSA), which among other things, imposed new sanctions on Iran, Russia, and North Korea.
At the time, IRGC Chief-Commander Jafari cautioned that if CAATSA targets his forces, the U.S. should move its military bases in the region out of Iran's 2000-km (approximately 1300 miles) missiles range.