Iran’s leaders have responded angrily to US President Donald Trump’s designation of its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organisation.
It is the first time the US has labelled another nation’s military in this way.
President Hassan Rouhani said the US was the “leader of world terrorism”.
Washington-Tehran tensions have risen since Mr Trump withdrew the US from the international Iran nuclear pact.
Iran’s government took retaliatory action against the US move by naming US Central Command (Centcom) as a terrorist organisation and the US government as a sponsor of terror.
Centcom is the Pentagon wing that oversees Washington’s security interests across the central area of the world map, most notably Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Syria.
What did Iran’s leaders say?
President Rouhani condemned the US move in a speech broadcast live on state television.
“Who are you to label revolutionary institutions as terrorists?” he asked. “You are the leader of world terrorism.”
“This mistake will unite Iranians and the Guards will grow more popular in Iran and in the region.
“America has used terrorists as a tool in the region while the Guards have fought against them from Iraq to Syria.”
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the IRGC had confronted enemies at home and abroad, state TV reported.
They were “in the frontline of confronting enemies of our revolution and had always defended the country… America…