In the genre of the Onion, when Iran labeled US Forces in the Middle East as terrorists, those US forces shook with fear.
That’s a sarcastic publication, by the way. There was no quaking with fear, no tears were shed, and certainly very, very few people gave a… darn. There really isn’t any change because Iran has always called the US and US forces bad things since 1979.
This is not a declaration of war by Iran.
This is not a declaration that more resources have been directed at US forces in the Middle East. No new intelligence assets, no new weapons, no additional forces have been directed to surveil, interdict, attack, or even engage with US forces – in talks or otherwise.
This is a symbolic move by Iran, meant to show Iranian citizens that Iran can play with the “Big Boys”. In reality, it is a meaningless gesture. The parliamentarians in Iran know their efforts are viewed as meaningless but they seem to be duty-bound to put on a show.
Iran labels all US forces in Middle East ‘terrorists’
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill labeling U.S. forces in the Middle East as terrorist, a day after the U.S. terrorism designation for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard formally took effect, state TV reported.
Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami introduced the bill authorizing the government to act firmly in response to “terrorist actions” by U.S. forces. It demands authorities use “legal, political and diplomatic” measures to neutralize the American move, without elaborating.
The U.S. move aims at “thwarting Iran’s influence,” and shows that America’s longstanding sanctions against Iran have become ineffective, Hatami told lawmakers.
During the debate, some hard-liner lawmakers had demanded listing the entire U.S. Army and security forces as terrorist.
The TV report said 204 lawmakers approved the bill, out of 207 present at the session in the 290-seat chamber.
Two lawmakers voted against the bill and one abstained.
However, it remains unclear how the bill’s passage in parliament would affect the Guard’s activities in the Persian Gulf, where the U.S. Navy has in the past accused Iranian patrol boats of harassing American warships.
The Revolutionary Guard has forces and wields influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and is in charge of Iranian missiles that have U.S. bases in their range.
The Guard’s designation — the first-ever for an entire division of another government — adds another layer of sanctions to the powerful paramilitary force and makes it a crime under U.S. jurisdiction to provide it with material support.
Depending on how broadly “material support” is interpreted, the designation may complicate U.S. diplomatic and military cooperation with certain third-country officials, notably in Iraq and Lebanon, who deal with the Guard.
President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the designation with great fanfare last week.