The leader of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah on Wednesday called the U.S. decision to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization “stupidity,” warning it stands ready to mount a response.
The heavily armed Shi’ite group was created at the initiative of the IRGC during the Lebanese civil war in 1982 and remains a key supporter of Iran-backed terror activities across Syria, Iraq and Yemen. It is designated a terror organization in its entirety by the Arab League, Bahrain, Canada, France, Israel, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States.
Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah used a televised address to warn the Trump administration’s decision reflects the “failure” of its policies in the Middle East and confirms the growing influence of and support for the Iranian group.
“This is the height of insolence and foolishness,” Nasrallah said, adding, “We condemn, denounce and rebuke this decision.”
Nasrallah applauded the elite Iranian military force, saying it “did not only provide financial and moral support” to its regional allies, but also sacrificed its “best commanders, officers and fighters” to battles outside of Iran.
“After the Americans put all groups and movements of the resistance on terror lists… they want to reach the primary and central power which is the Revolutionary Guards,” Nasrallah said, according to AFP.
The terrorist leader said if there were to be an escalation from Washington against the group and its allies that “threatens our people, nation and our principle issues,” simply issuing a condemnation of U.S. actions would not suffice. A confrontation, then, would be a “duty” in all the fronts that the U.S. has targeted, he said. He did not elaborate.
“Our hands are open and our options are also open,” he said.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Iran, the highest-ranking branch of the nation’s military, confirmed Hezbollah’s threat of retaliation, issuing a statement vowing to “spare no effort” in fighting the U.S. military, suggesting the potential of a planned attack against Washington.