US officially designates Iranian military unit as a 'foreign terrorist organization'

Iran President Hassan Rouhani (Wikimedia Commons)

The U.S. has officially designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization — the first time it has heaped that label on a part of a foreign government.

"The president has long believed that we should designate Iran's guard corps as a terrorist organization, and today we will be carrying out that policy," said one senior administration official during a background call on Monday.

The State Department has long designated Iran as a "state sponsor" of terrorism, and the Trump administration sees it as a "central banker" and supporter of terror groups, officials said.

"For many decades now the IRGC has tried to reshape the Middle East in Iran's favor," another senior administration official said.

The Pentagon said last week Iran was responsible for the deaths of more than 600 American service members during the Iraq War. "The IRGC has been threatening American troops almost since the time it has been formed," the official added. "Today the IRGC's plausible deniability is over."

"This designation ... underscores the fact that Iran's actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments," President Donald Trump said in a statement.

"This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime. It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism."

Senior administration officials say the move is part of an "ongoing campaign to pressure the regime to behave." Iranian officials, meanwhile, have threatened to retaliate against American troops in the Middle East.

SEE ALSO: The Pentagon says Iran killed 603 US troops during the Iraq War

DOD photo

After a string of high profile incidents, the commander overseeing the Navy SEALs released an all hands memo stating that the elite Naval Special Warfare community has a discipline problem, and pinned the blame on those who place loyalty to their teammates over the Navy and the nation they serve.

Read More Show Less
Ed Mahoney/Kickstarter

In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.

The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.

A small group of veterans hopes to change that.

Read More Show Less
F-16 Fighting Falcon (Photo: US Air Force)

For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.

The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2019. Yuri Kadobnov/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities said on Friday that a doctor who treated those injured in a mysterious accident this month had the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 in his body, but said it was probably put there by his diet.

The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.

Read More Show Less