Iranians march to protest at Revolutionary Guards blacklisting by U.S.

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US President Donald Trump said his administration's "unprecedented" designation "recognizes the reality that 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".

State television showed crowds shouting "What's America thinking?"

The Imam of Tehran Friday prayers, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi-Kermani condemned on Friday the United States' move of labelling the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.

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Ayatollah Kermani also highlighted the IRGC's role in countering terrorist groups in the region, describing the U.S. blacklisting as "comical". We have not named all American forces terrorist.

"The designation was a simple recognition of reality", Pompeo said, citing U.S. figures that Iran was behind more than 600 deaths of USA troops in Iraq after the 2003 invasion when Tehran backed Shiite forces.

The 125,000-strong Revolutionary Guards also command the volunteer paramilitary Basij and control Iran's ballistic missile programme. "This measure against CENTCOM was a tit-for-tat act against the IRGC [blacklisting]".

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

Pompeo told a U.S. Senate committee he had "no announcements" on whether Washington would continue waivers to some countries that import Iranian crude, or for Iran's civilian nuclear program, now that Trump has withdrawn the United States from the 2015 global nuclear agreement with Iran and reimposed sweeping sanctions.

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