The United States added Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to its antiterrorism sanctions list in October 2017, but in the statement announcing the decision, the Department of Treasury emphasized that the development did not mean the USA designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.
The Pentagon said that a move like this "could lead to a backlash against US forces in the region without inflicting the intended damage to the Iranian economy", reported the Journal.
A day earlier, The Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed officials and said President Donald Trump's administration would announce the long-mulled decision as soon as Monday and that concerned defence officials were bracing for the impact. It has been rumored for years.
Earlier, the Foreign Policy magazine reported, citing United States officials, that the administration of President Donald Trump is considering the possibility of cutting diplomatic personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq as soon as this year or the next. "The designation of the IRGC would send that message".
In response to the policy change, Reuters reported that the head of the Iranian parliament's national security committee tweeted that Iran would add the us military to their own terror blacklist.
The new designation of the IRGC would allow the U.S.to act against companies and individuals who do business with the IRGC. They pledged to respond in kind against any action taken by the USA against Iran's armed forces.
IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari warned in 2017 if Trump went ahead with the move "then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world".
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said he supports the move in a statement.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was formed after Iran's 1979 revolution with a mission to defend the government, in contrast to more traditional military units that protect borders.
The IRGC has an estimated 125,000-strong military with army, navy and air units and answers to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.