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U.S. officially designates Iran's Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group

Reuters logo Reuters 4/15/2019
Members of the Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards attend a rally against the U.S.'s decision to designate the guard as a foreign terrorist organization, after the Friday prayers at the Enqelab-e-Eslami (Islamic Revolution) street in Tehran, Iran, on April 12, 2019. © Vahid Salemi/AP Photo Members of the Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards attend a rally against the U.S.'s decision to designate the guard as a foreign terrorist organization, after the Friday prayers at the Enqelab-e-Eslami (Islamic Revolution) street in Tehran, Iran, on April 12, 2019.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States officially designated Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, according to a notice published in the U.S. Federal Register on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he would make the symbolic but unprecedented move, which immediately was condemned by Iran and created concerns about reprisal attacks on U.S. forces.

The IRGC is in charge of Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear programs. It also is involved with the country's banking and shipping industries. The new designation makes it easier to prosecute companies or people in the European Union that do business with Iran.

U.S. law already punishes U.S. persons who deal with the IRGC with up to 20 years in prison because of the group's designation under the U.S. Specially Designated Global Terrorist list, a different U.S. sanctions program.

a group of people in uniform: FILE PHOTO - Members of Iranian revolutionary guard march during parade to commemorate anniversary of Iran-Iraq war, in Tehran © Reuters/Stringer Iran FILE PHOTO - Members of Iranian revolutionary guard march during parade to commemorate anniversary of Iran-Iraq war, in Tehran

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Paul Simao)

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