Iranian officials are slamming an anticipated decision from the United States to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) a terrorist organization, saying that with such a move, the U.S. would be "joining the terrorists' camp".
"The Guards are the defender of the nation", government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht told reporters.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday Tehran will take reciprocal measures against a potential "strategic mistake" by President Trump to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization.
An early shot across the bow came earlier in the day when US authorities offered multimillion-dollar rewards for two officials of the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah, a longtime Iran ally and fraternal partner founded shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.
But on Monday Bahram Qasemi, a spokesperson for Iran's foreign ministry, hit back, saying he was hopeful the USA would not make such a "strategic mistake".
He added that the United States would have to move its military bases outside the 2,000km range of Iran's missiles.
The IRGC commander pointed out that diplomatic discourse is distinct from the discourse of defense forces, but their contents and orientations are the same.
"Americans would isolate themselves" if they designated the Guards as a terrorist group, Zarif chimed in. "Of course some measures have been planned which we will announce in due time", he added.
Trump is expected to decertify a landmark 2015 deal Iran struck with world powers to curb its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.
Trump's announcement would stop short of pulling out of the agreement but give Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions. In response, Iran has increased its program's funding.
Iran's nuclear deal with world major powers was a "big test" for all signatories and other states in the world, as keeping promise is the base of world trust in a state, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, APA reported citing IRNA.
"Unlike the pre-deal era when the whole world was united against Iran, the world is now united against the United States, particularly so because Trump's measures regarding other worldwide agreements has sparked global opposition", former Iranian diplomat Javid Ghorban Oghli said in an op-ed written for pro-reform Shargh Daily. "It's time America be taught new lessons".