THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 11 APRIL 2019 (US names Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group (The Hindu)

US names Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2 : Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and agreements involving India |
Prelims level : FTO
Mains level : US-Iran turmoil and its impact on India


  • President Donald Trump said on Monday he would name Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, in an unprecedented step that drew Iranian condemnation and raised concerns about retaliatory attacks on U.S. forces.

Key highlights

  • 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 labelled another nation's military a terrorist group.
  • The U.S. step, which takes effect on April 15, prompted an immediate response from Iran, whose Supreme National Security Council in turn designated U.S. military forces as a “terrorist organization,” Iranian state-run TV reported.
  • The U.S. military bases and their military forces in the region will be considered terrorist bases and terrorist forces that will be dealt with and confronted accordingly.
  • The IRGC is the Iranian government's primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.
  • His administration has long criticized Iran for its influence in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.


  • Senior U.S. military commanders share Trump's concerns about Iran and the IRGC but long opposed the designation due to concern over a potential backlash against U.S. forces in the Middle East and the problems it could create for U.S. partners who have a relationship with Iran, U.S. officials say.
  • The Pentagon declined to discuss what the U.S. military was doing to protect American troops from any retaliation by the IRGC or Iran-aligned militia in places like Iraq.
  • U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the designation did not mean the U.S. military would start treating the IRGC like al Qaeda, Islamic State or other militants that it can target at will.


  • The IRGC is in charge of Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear programs. Tehran has warned that it has missiles with a range of up to 2,000 km (1,242 miles), putting Israel and U.S. military bases in the region within reach.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is up for re-election on Tuesday, warmly welcomed the designation and tweeted “Thank you, my dear friend, U.S. President Donald Trump... for meeting another of my important requests.”
  • Set up after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect the Shi'ite clerical ruling system, the Guards have great sway in Iran's political system, controlling swathes of the economy and armed forces.

Way forward

  • Their involvement in Iran's banking and shipping industries could complicate matters with U.S. allies including the European Union. The new designation makes it easier to prosecute EU or other companies or individuals that do business with Iran.
  • The Iranian currency weakened on Monday, falling to 143,000 rials to the U.S. dollar from Sunday's rate of 138,000 rials, according to the website
  • The United States has already blacklisted dozens of entities and people for affiliations with the IRGC, but not the organization as a whole.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a strident critic of Iran, has pushed for the change in U.S. policy as part of the Trump administration's tough posture toward Tehran.
  • “This designation is a direct response to an outlaw regime and should surprise no one,” Pompeo said.
  • The State Department said on Monday the IRGC has been engaged in terrorist activity since its inception, including the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 Americans, and a foiled plan to attack the Saudi ambassador to the United States on U.S. soil.
  • Previous administrations considered designating the entire IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization but decided the risk to U.S. forces overseas was too great, former U.S. officials said.

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General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

Prelims Questions:

Q.1) Which of the following states have been declared ‘Open Defecation Free States’?
1. Kerala
2. Sikkim
3. Himachal
4. Odisha

Select the code from below:
a) 1,2 and 3
b) 2,3 and 4
c) 1,3 and 4
d) All of the above

Answer: A

Mains Questions:
Q.1) No matter how many toilets the government builds, the country will never be able to become open defecation free until people start using them. So, how can this problem be overcome?

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