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Rouhani Tells Macron U.S. Move Against Guards 'Very Provocative And Dangerous'

A combination of file photos showing French President Emmanuel Macron and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in a telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron has called the U.S. action in designating Iran’s Revolution Guards as a “terror” group, “a very provocative, dangerous and unprecedented in international relations”.

Rouhani underlined to Mr. Macron that based on a direct admission by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “the U.S. decision was taken as a result of Tel Aviv’s request”.

The United States on April 8 designated the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), in effect condemning the main body of Iran’s military force.

Iranian leaders have reacted with anger and condemnation, with the Iranian parliament passing a resolution designating the U.S. military in the region as “terrorist”.

Rouhani also asked the French president to help speed up a European trade initiative to facilitate business dealings between Iran and European Union countries.

Iran’s president said that “The will of the Iranian government is to preserve regional security and prevent a rise in tensions”.

A statement by the French presidency said Macron urged Rouhani to "avoid any escalation or destabilization of the region."

DPA, the German news agency reports that Macron also asked Rouhani to free Iranian human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been jailed since mid-2018 in what rights monitors have called "dubious" charges.

In the communique issued by Rouhani’s office there was no mention of Macron’s position regarding the U.S. decision to list the IRGC as a terrorist group.

The EU has also not shown any reaction to Washington’s move. The spokesperson for EU’s foreign policy has offered no comment on the issue.