NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - A group of Iraq's Shi'ite militia groups said on Saturday that they strongly rejected the designation of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) as a terrorist organization by the United States.
The groups, backed and trained by Tehran, delivered a statement from the home of Iran's consul-general in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf.
They announced their solidarity with the Muslim people and the Revolutionary Guards who they said helped to prevent four or five states from falling to Islamic State militants.
President Donald Trump said last week he would name Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.
The action by Trump, who has taken a hard line toward Iran by withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-imposing broad economic sanctions, marks the first time the United States has formally labeled another country's military a terrorist group.
"This is laughable coming from the number one sponsor of terrorism, America," said a spokesman for the Badr Organisation, without providing evidence.
Badr is led by Iraqi militia commander and politician Hadi al-Ameri who's Fateh coalition of militia groups has the second-largest number of seats in Iraq's parliament.
"We reject this action from America and say we have honor to be in the Islamic resistance that fought and beat terrorism," a spokesman for the wider Fateh coalition said.
Some of the militia groups themselves are designated as terrorist organizations by Washington.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday that Washington's decision to designate the IRGC a terrorist group could harm his country and the wider region.
Iraqi security forces declared victory over Islamic State in 2017 with help from a U.S.-led coalition and Iran-backed Shi'ite militias, some of which fought U.S. troops earlier following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
U.S. Air National Guard/Senior Airman Jonathan W. Padish
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loved to call former Secretary of Defense James Mattis by his much-loathed "Mad Dog" nickname, but his own transition team had concerns regarding the former Marine general's infamous battlefield missives and his lackluster handling of alleged war crimes committed by U.S. service members, according to leaked vetting documents.
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It would be nice to know whether we are at war or not. One would think the headquarters of the U.S. military would be a good place to find out. But the Trump administration has one spokesman: the president himself. His tweets have replaced Pentagon's briefings as the primary source for military news.
Former Army Gen. David Petraeus, the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan who resigned in disgrace as CIA director amid revelations of an extramarital affairs, was passed over by then-president-elect Donald Trump's transition team because of his criticism of torture, according to leaked vetting documents.