Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Picture: REUTERS/Khalid Al-Mousily
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Picture: REUTERS/Khalid Al-Mousily

London — Iran will ask the international community to take a position on the US designation of its Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation, foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says.

Iran condemned US President Donald Trump’s step last week as illegal. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is a powerful elite force which controls much of the Iranian state and economy.

“We will send messages to foreign ministers of all countries to tell them it is necessary for them to express their stances, and to warn them that this unprecedented and dangerous US measure has had and will have consequences,” Zarif was quoted as saying by state news agency Irna.

Zarif said he had also sent letters to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council to protest against “this illegal US measure”.

Tehran retaliated against Washington's move by designating the regional US Central Command (Centcom) as a terrorist organisation.

Relations between Tehran and Washington took a turn for the worse last May when Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, reached before he took office, and reimposed sanctions.

The US has already blacklisted dozens of entities and people for affiliations with the Revolutionary Guards, but had not previously targeted the organisation as a whole.

Revolutionary Guards commanders have repeatedly said that US bases in the Middle East and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf are within range of Iranian missiles.

Tehran has also threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if the US tries to strangle Iran's economy by halting its oil exports.

Iran’s oil minister said on Sunday that the supply-demand balance in the global oil market is fragile due to US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and tensions in Libya, and warned of consequences for increasing pressures on Tehran.