Max Saatchi stands with other protesters while wearing a mask depicting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a "No to Rouhani, Yes to Human Rights in Iran Rally" organized by the National Council of Resistance to Iran, outside the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York, September 28, .
(photo credit: DARREN ORNITZ / REUTERS)
Israel has long noted that Iran threatens not only them but other regional states, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced Thursday his Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will merely be used against "Zionists" and "American imperialists" and not other Middle Eastern states, Reuters reported.
"The roots of our problems are the Zionist regime and American imperialism," Rouhani declared during a military ceremony in ceremony in Tehran where missiles, submarines, armored vehicles and other army equipment were displayed.
"I want to tell the regional countries that the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are not against you and your national interests. They stand against invaders," he added, according to a translation of the speech from Reuters
Iran funds several proxy armies including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Shiite militias in Iraq. The mostly Shiite Muslim nation's disagreements with the Sunni Muslim world has driven Arab Gulf nations such as Oman to build closer ties with the Jewish state despite the Arab-Israeli conflict. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Oman
in October. However also on Thursday, Iran and Oman held a joint naval exercise and performed maritime rescue operations in the Gulf, Fars
news agency reported.
The US declared the Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organization on Monday, something Iran vehemently denies. "We seek regional security and stability, countries' sovereignty and end of terrorism and their activities in this region," Rouhani stated.
He called the declaration "abhorrent," adding "insulting the Revolutionary Guards is an insult to all (Iranian) armed forces, and an insult to Iranian great nation.”
US President Donald Trump said the new 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."
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a branch of Iran's Armed Forces founded after the 1979 revolution which turned the country from a Western ally to an Islamic republic.
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