All tagged IRGC

Trump Criticizes French President for Sending Iran 'Mixed Signals'

◢ President Donald Trump on Thursday (Aug 8) accused his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron of getting in the way of US policy and sending "mixed signals" to Iran. "Iran is in serious financial trouble. They want desperately to talk to the US, but are given mixed signals from all of those purporting to represent us, including President Macron of France," Trump tweeted.

Iran Seizes Small Oil Tanker Suspected of Smuggling Fuel

◢ Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf on July 31, compounding concerns about the safety of shipping in a region crucial to oil exports. The vessel—the third foreign ship seized by the guards in the Gulf since July 14—is suspected of smuggling a large volume of fuel, the Guards said on their Sepah News portal.

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif as Tensions Rise

◢ The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in a provocative move that diminishes the prospects for a diplomatic solution to rising tensions that have brought the U.S. and Tehran to the brink of war. The U.S. said Zarif, viewed as Iran’s most skilled diplomat, acts on behalf of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was previously sanctioned.

UK Mulls Options as Iran Says Ship's Fate Depends on Probe

◢ Iran warned Sunday that the fate of a UK-flagged tanker it seized in the Gulf depends on an investigation, as Britain said it was considering options in response to the standoff. Authorities impounded the Stena Impero with 23 crew members aboard off the port of Bandar Abbas after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized it Friday in the highly sensitive Strait of Hormuz.

Iran Says Missing Tanker Had Problems and Was Towed for Repairs

◢ A small oil tanker that had gone missing in the Persian Gulf had technical difficulties and was towed into Iranian waters for repairs, an Iranian foreign ministry official said, according to the ISNA news agency. Further details on the ship, the Panamanian-flagged RIAH, will be announced later, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the semi-offficial ISNA.

Britain Says Iran Tried to 'Impede' UK Tanker in Persian Gulf

◢ Britain said on Thursday that Iranian military vessels tried to "impede the passage" of a UK oil tanker but were warned off by a British warship in a dramatic escalation of tensions with Tehran in the Gulf. "Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz," the UK defence ministry said in a statement.

Iran Shoots Down US Drone as Tensions Soar

◢ Iran shot down a US spy drone Thursday near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, with the two sides at odds whether it was in Iranian or international airspace, in the latest incident stoking tensions between the arch-foes. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said the "US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone" was hit with a missile "after violating Iranian air space" over the waters of Hormozgan province.

US Hits Iran Petrochemical Group PGPIC with Sanctions

◢ The United States has hit Iran's petrochemical group PGPIC with economic sanctions due to its ties with the country's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the Treasury Department announced on Friday. The move aims to choke off financing to the country's largest and most profitable petrochemical group and extends to its 39 subsidiaries and "foreign-based sales agents," Treasury said in a statement.

U.S. Sends 1,500 Troops to Mideast After Blaming Attacks on Iran

◢ President Donald Trump ordered more troops to the Middle East as the Pentagon blamed Tehran for recent attacks in the region, yet the small scale of the U.S. move signaled a desire to avoid a further escalation of tensions between the two nations. The U.S. will bolster forces in the region by about 1,500 troops, though Trump and the Pentagon said that the deployment is for defensive purposes.

Iraq Caught in the Middle of US-Iran Face-Off

◢ Scarred by two decades of conflict, Iraq finds itself caught in the middle of a US-Iranian tug-of-war, fearing it could pay the price of any confrontation between its two main allies. Analysts say third parties may seek to exploit the latest spike in tensions between Tehran and Washington to spark a showdown that serves their own interests.

Iran Accuses US of 'Unacceptable' Escalation in Tensions

◢ Iran accused the United States Thursday of an "unacceptable" escalation of tensions and said Tehran was showing "maximum restraint" despite Washington's withdrawal from a nuclear deal with world powers. Tensions were already high after President Donald Trump walked away a year ago from the accord, which eased international sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear program.

Pompeo in Baghdad on Unannounced Visit

◢ US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Baghdad late Tuesday on an unannounced visit, an Iraqi government source told AFP, cancelling a trip to Germany amid escalating US-Iran tensions. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the high security nature of the visit, said Pompeo was set to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi.

Iran Names Fiery Chief to Lead Elite Force Targeted by U.S.

◢ Iran named a new commander known for his bellicose rhetoric against his country’s enemies to lead the Revolutionary Guard Corps, two weeks after the elite military force was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed General Hossein Salami, 58, to replace General Mohammad Ali Jafari, according to a decree.

Instagram Accounts of Iran Guards Commanders Blocked

◢ The Instagram accounts of several Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders have been blocked, the Tabnak news website reported Tuesday, with the photo-sharing website saying it was complying with US sanctions. The United States announced on April 8 that it has placed the IRGC, the ideological army of the Islamic republic, on their list of "foreign terrorist organizations.”

Macron Urges Iran's Rouhani to Avoid 'Escalation' of Tensions

◢ French leader Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday urged his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to avoid an escalation of tensions after Washington blacklisted Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. In a telephone conversation, Macron urged Rouhani to "avoid any escalation or destabilization of the region," the French presidency said in a statement.

Iraq Says Tried to Stop US Blacklist of Iran Revolutionary Guard

◢ Baghdad tried to stop Washington from blacklisting Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a "terrorist organization," Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi said Tuesday, warning that the decision could further destabilize the region. The United States declared the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a "terrorist" group on Monday, prompting Tehran to quickly slap US troops with the same designation. 

Iran President Says US 'Leader of World Terrorism'

◢ Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday accused the United States of being the real "leader of world terrorism", hitting back after Washington blacklisted Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. Tehran was quick to retaliate on Monday by declaring US troops "terrorists" following Washington's move, which was welcomed by Iran's regional arch-rivals Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Zarif Calls for US Forces to be Put on Iran 'Terror' List

◢ Iran's top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday urged President Hassan Rouhani to place US forces in the region on Tehran's list of "terrorist" groups, the foreign ministry said. The foreign minister requested the move against US Central Command (CENTCOM), which has forces stationed from Central Asia to Egypt, shortly after Washington announced it was designating Iran's Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization.