All tagged IRGC

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.

US Designates Iran's Revolutionary Guards as Terrorist Organization

◢ President Donald Trump on Monday announced the United States is designating Iran's elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a terrorist organization. Trump said in a statement that the "unprecedented" move "recognizes 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."

Iran Leader Urges Iraq to Demand US Withdraw Troops

◢ Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called on Iraq to demand US troops leave "as soon as possible", warning that Washington is plotting to remove the Iraqi government. The remarks came during a visit to Tehran on Saturday by Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, whose country is under pressure from the United States to distance itself from Iran.

Schlumberger Workers Sought by U.S. on Iran, Sudan Sanctions

◢ The US government has interviewed one Schlumberger Ltd. worker and wants access to four other current and former employees as part of a probe into potential sanctions violations in Iran and Sudan, according to federal court documents. The unnamed worker for the world’s biggest oil-services provider was interviewed on March 8 about a matter related to a company Schlumberger acquired in 2014.

Britain, France, Germany Seek Full UN Report of Iran Missile Activity

◢ Britain, France and Germany are accusing Iran of developing missile technology, following recent activities, that they said was inconsistent with a UN resolution, and are calling for a full UN report, according to a letter released Tuesday. The European trio cited Iran's launch of a space vehicle and the unveiling of two new ballistic missiles in February.

Iran Arrests 3 'Terrorists' over Suicide Bomb Attack

◢ Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said Monday it has arrested three "terrorists" involved in last week's deadly suicide bomb attack on security forces in a region bordering Pakistan. "Safe houses in (the cities of) Saravan and Khash were identified and eliminated, and the terrorists based in them were arrested," the force said on its official Sepah news agency.