The Basij, Iran’s paramilitary forces, this week awarded President Trump their 5th annual “Wet Gunpowder Award” for being the most “anti-Iranian” and “wicked.”
The award statue is a brain wearing glasses, as illustrated in a tweet by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
— FDD's Iran Project (@FDD_Iran) March 14, 2017
It’s little surprise the Basij, which answers to the Iranian military’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, would choose Trump as its honoree.
In February, Trump issued new economic sanctions against 13 Iranian individuals and 12 companies in response to the country’s Jan. 29 medium-range ballistic missile test in contravention of international law. He had also put Iran “on notice” shortly before he issued the sanctions.
Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile.Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
Trump has also railed against the Iran nuclear deal signed under the Obama administration, which lifted international sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits to its nuclear program. He has also called Iran the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism, and as a candidate said he would blow Iranian boats “out of the water” if they continued to harass U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.
According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, an Iranian state media outlet, the “symbolic” award is given to “ridiculous people whose chaffy character is evident to everyone and when this nature of theirs is accompanied with self-belief turns into an indefinite foolishness for them.”
The outlet said the Basij nominated Trump due to his “publicizing various economic and political crisis, his claims over Barak [sic] Obama wiretapping, criticizing the existing poverty and the American people’s problems and showing real face of the United States, US president became nominated for this award.”
After Trump issued a temporary ban on visas from Iran and six other countries shortly after he took office, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei thanked him for showing the “real face” of the U.S.
However, Trump wasn’t the only U.S. figure considered for the award. A runner-up for the award was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who backed the Iran deal but also a tougher line against Iran than the Obama administration.
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir was also a runner-up.
The Basij awarded former First Lady Michelle Obama the award in 2013, for her role in presenting a Best Picture Oscar to the film “Argo” at the Academy Awards.
Since there are no official diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iran, the award will be delivered to the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which has represented U.S. interests in Iran since 1980.