The United States is expected to designate Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization, three USA officials told Reuters, marking the first time that Washington will formally label another country's military a terrorist group.
Heshmatollah Falahat Pishe, chairman of the Iran's parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told Tasnim news agency that the Iranian parliament has prepared a motion in this regard.
USA officials say an announcement could come as early as tomorrow, after a months-long escalation in the administration's rhetoric against Iran.
Reuters reports that some critics believe the move could create a precedent which could prompt governments hostile to the United States to take similar action against US military and intelligence.
CNN reported in July 2018 that the administration was considering the designation.
The new designation of the IRGC would allow the U.S.to act against companies and individuals who do business with the IRGC.
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In February, The Daily Wire reported that the IRGC claimed it successfully took control of seven to eight US drones flying over Syria and Iraq and monitored the intel the drones were collecting and broadcasting back to USA forces.
Seen as part of a broader effort to make good on US President Donald Trump's vow to take a tougher line against Iran, the proposal would - if implemented - mark an unprecedented step against an entire institution of a foreign government.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said he supports the move in a statement.
Former Under-Secretary of State and lead Iran negotiator, Wendy Sherman, said she anxious about implications for USA forces.
Iran's most powerful security organisation, the IRGC was set up to protect the country's Shia clerical ruling system after its 1979 Islamic Revolution, which toppled the Western-allied secular monarch Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and led to the formation of the Islamic Republic.
It is unclear what impact the United States designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization might have on America's activities in countries that have ties with Tehran, including in Iraq.