President Trump’s principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley believes the White House’s decision to designate Iran’s Revolutionary guard as “foreign terrorist organization” is part of a plan to put pressure on the country to “change its behavior.”
While speaking to “America’s Newsroom” on Monday morning, Gidley defended the president’s decision and said it illustrates Trump’s ability to do what other administrations have threatened but not acted on.
“This is the first time the United States has recognized another government as a foreign terrorist organization,” Gidley said. “A lot of other administrations have threatened it, but this President, again, came to the table and did it. It’s an important move for the administration and for safety and security around the globe.”
He went on to argue that there was no specific “tipping point” that catalyzed the decision, but that Iran’s reputation as a “state sponsor of terrorism” has long been known.
The move is a part of an ongoing “maximum pressure campaign,” Gidley said, that is intended to motivate Iran to “do something different than what they have been, which is wreaking havoc across the globe and sponsoring those who do.”
President Trump announced the decision on Monday, which holds the potential to have a ripple effect on military, diplomatic and economic relations throughout Iran and the Middle East at large.
“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, 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,” President Donald Trump said.
Iran has yet to respond, but it’s possible that they could retaliate, or impose travel bans prohibiting executives and companies from dealings with the United States.
Fox News’ Matthew Lee and the Associated Press contributed to the reporting of this story.