American media and politicians ridiculed on Thursday, August 16, the Bush administration's plans to blacklist Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.
"The dangers posed by Iran are serious, and America needs to respond with serious policies, not more theatrics," The New York Times wrote in an editorial titled "Amateur hour on Iran".
"Iran has become too dangerous a problem for such continued amateurism."
The Bush administration is planning to blacklist the Revolutionary Guards under an executive order – which President George Bush signed two weeks after the 9/11 attacks.
The State Department declined to give details of the planned action, saying it would not divulge "anything that may be actively under consideration."
The administration accuses the Guards of stirring unrest in Iraq and supplying bombs for deadly attacks on US troops.
If a decision is made, the Guards would be the first national military branch on the US list of individuals and institutions linked to terrorism.
The Revolutionary Guards scoffed Thursday at the "superficial" threats.
"Those who are absorbed by the world's materialism cannot understand the depth of the spiritual power and iron will of the Revolutionary Guards," it said in a statement carried by the official IRNA news agency.
Established in 1979, the Revolutionary Guards is the elite military guardian of the Islamic Revolution.
With tens of thousands of troops, it enjoys a major influence in military, business and political fields.
The Guards has been successful in picking up lucrative infrastructure contracts including a 2-billion-dollar contract to develop phases 15 and 16 of Iran's biggest gas field and a 1.3 billion dollar deal to build a pipeline to Pakistan.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a former Guards officer, has promoted several former members to top posts since taking office in 2005.
The New York Times ridiculed the administration's planned move as clumsy and ill-conceived.
"[This] is another distraction when what the Bush administration needs to be doing is opening comprehensive negotiations with Tehran, backed by increasing international economic pressure."
The influential daily said such a move only aim to appease the administration hawks who have been seeking war with Iran.
It maintained that the automatic American economic penalties that would come with such a terrorist designation would cause minimal pain to a country that does little direct business with the US.
"That suggests that the State Department's real audience isn't Tehran, but conflict-obsessed administration hawks, who are lobbying for military strikes, and conflict-averse European allies, who have resisted more far-reaching multilateral economic sanctions."
The US has never ruled out military action against Iran over its nuclear program, which Tehran insists aims to generate electricity.
Award-winning American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh recently revealed that the Pentagon had formed a special group to plan an attack against Iran that can be implemented, upon orders from the president, within 24 hours.
US Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich was equally critical of the mulled terror designation.
"This is nothing more than an attempt to deceive Americans into yet another war -- this time with Iran," he said.
"This designation will set the stage for more chaos in the region because it undercuts all of our diplomatic efforts."
Kucinich said the terrorist label would only serve to convince Iran's leaders "that there is no point to engage in diplomatic talks with the US, if our actions point directly to regime change.
"Our nation is better served by demanding sensible and responsible diplomatic foreign policy initiatives from the Bush Administration."
Last Mod: 17 Ağustos 2007, 11:31