Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Moussavi claimed Wednesday that the world longs to see change in the “U.S. regime nature,” a response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging “a change in the nature and the behavior” of Iran as a result of new U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. State Department designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a wing of the military that often works with Hezbollah and other terrorist groups to destabilize the Middle East, a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) last week. The designation places new sanctions on the group and represents the first time the United States has identified a foreign government entity as a FTO.
Moussavi told reporters Wednesday the designation reveals the United States as a rogue state actor that has triggered a demand by the international community for regime change in the country.
“The global community’s growing opposition to [the U.S.] behavior and the actions it takes in violation of international law has triggered a global demand for the U.S. regime nature to undergo change,” Moussavi asserted, according to the state-run PressTV. He went on to claim the United States does not respect international law and is “endangering international order, peace, and stability on a daily basis.”
“The one who needs to change in nature is the US itself, not Iran,” the spokesman asserted, in direct response to Pompeo.
Speaking to reporters in Texas on Monday following a brief tour of Latin America, Pompeo noted sanctions against the IRGC would take hold that day and he hoped other state actors would heed them. He noted his stop in Dallas was in part to meet with Iranian exiles and discuss the Trump administration’s firm stance on the Islamic regime’s crimes.
“Today’s the day that IRGC designation comes into effect and it was a day I wanted to be with them [Iranian exiles] to hear their views of how our policy is affecting the lives of the people inside of Iran,” Pompeo said, “and how our policy is leading to what we hope, which is a change in the nature and the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran and their leadership.”
Pompeo went on to remind reporters that Iran is “using their dollars to support [socialist dictator Nicolás] Maduro in Venezuela while people are suffering inside of their own country. Folks who were with me this morning didn’t think that made much sense, and neither do I.”
Moussavi’s remarks not only followed Pompeo’s, but took place on Iran’s Army Day, which the regime is using to promote the IRGC. The Iranian Defense Ministry issued a statement standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the IRGC “to thwart and retaliate any threat and protect the targets of the Islamic Revolution”:
With no doubt, the Army and other Armed Forces, relying on the leadership of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ayatollah Khamenei, the wisdom and support of the Iranian nation, and comprehensive support of the defense industry and via intelligence monitoring, are ready to thwart all probable threats against the country and will allow no military measures or territorial invasion.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei met with commanders of the Iranian army on Wednesday to emphasize the threat they pose to those who stand in Khamenei’s way. The radical cleric initially responded to the IRGC designation stating that “Trump and the idiots… in the U.S. government — are moving toward rock bottom” and the designation would “boomerang” on America.
Iran declared the American military a terrorist organization last week in response to the State Department’s move, reiterating false claims that Washington created the Sunni Islamic State terrorist group to attack Iranian interests.
“A review of criminal and bloodthirsty America’s adventuristic actions in the region over the past several decades proves the fact that Washington wastes no effort towards destabilizing the West Asia region as a means of creating a comfort zone for the infanticidal Zionist regime [of Israel],” the Iranian army said at the time.
The IRGC has cooperated with Hezbollah, Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and other anti-American entities for decades. Reports have tied IRGC officials to terrorists attacks worldwide; Iran is believed to have been directly involved in the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the Western Hemisphere before September 11, 2001, the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association. An IRGC commander admitted in 2017 that his forces had attacked and killed American troops. The Trump administration had reportedly wanted to brand the military organization terrorists since President Donald Trump came into office in 2017 due to its extensive violent activities both in its native region and abroad.
“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,” President Trump said in a statement last week.