Zarif calls for US forces to be put on Iran 'terror' list
Iran's top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday urged President Hassan Rouhani to place US forces in the region on Tehran's list of "terrorist" groups, the foreign ministry said.
Zarif's request came shortly after the United States said it was designating Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organisation.
The Iranian foreign minister wrote to Rouhani asking him "to put the American Forces in Western Asia known as CENTCOM on the Islamic Republic of Iran's list of terrorist groups", the ministry said.
Zarif also blasted the US move on Twitter, saying it was done to support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Tuesday's parliamentary election in the Jewish state.
"A(nother) misguided election-eve gift to Netanyahu. A(nother) dangerous U.S. misadventure in the region," he wrote.
Part of America's vast military presence around the globe, CENTCOM's area of command covers multiple war zones and hotspots including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and the Gulf.
The US decision came as part of already far-reaching attempts to undermine the Iranian government.
President Donald Trump said the "unprecedented" move "recognises the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft."
"The IRGC is the Iranian government's primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign," Trump said in a statement.
It is the first time the United States has applied the designation to part of a foreign government, rather than guerrilla groups or other more informal entities.
The move follows Trump's decision to pull the United States out of a multilateral deal with Iran that was meant to lift crippling economic sanctions in return curbs on Tehran's nuclear programme.
? 2019 AFP