Iran’s terrorist army
International | Reaction to the United States’ new designation for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
by Mindy Belz
Posted 4/10/19, 04:51 pm
IRAN: Lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted “Death to America” as they convened Tuesday following the U.S. announcement Monday it will designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization—the first time an official armed forces has been so named. Long sought to isolate the IRGC—which boasts ground forces of 100,000 and controls perhaps one-third of Iran’s economy—the decision was praised by Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and Bahrain but raised concerns in Iraq and Europe. The Pentagon reportedly opposed the designation over heightened tensions, with U.S. forces stationed in proximity to IRGC troops in Syria and Iraq. Iran quickly followed suit by naming U.S. Central Command a terrorist group.
ISRAEL: The Likud bloc of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged the winner in Tuesday elections against a centrist coalition, the Blue and White Alliance, which conceded the election Wednesday evening Israel time. Netanyahu begins a historic fifth term aiming to build a broader coalition, observers said, conditioning his recent promise of West Bank annexation with possible right-wing partners on their support for legislation protecting him from a looming indictment for fraud, breach of trust, and, in one case, bribery.
INDONESIA: Ahead of elections on April 17, the campaign of President Joko Widodo is pitching its message to hardline Islamists, threatening further polarization.
GERMANY: A German convert to Islam is on trial in Munich for allowing a 5-year-old Yazidi girl she and her ISIS husband kept as a slave to die of thirst. She is charged with murder, a war crime, and membership in a terrorist organization, and could face life in prison.
FRANCE: Ahead of Palm Sunday, a snapshot of how giving works in one French diocese, Puy-en-Velay, where average giving is 154 euros, or $174, annually.
SUDAN: Alaa Salah, a 22-year-old engineering and architecture college student, has become the face of women leading ongoing protests in Khartoum demanding that President Omar al-Bashir step down. Here’s a drone shot of Wednesday’s sit-in outside army headquarters in Khartoum.
CUBA: The White House nullified an arrangement between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation allowing Cuban players to come to the United States without defecting or having to be smuggled. President Donald Trump overruled a Treasury Department go-ahead on the arrangement in December, citing a trade ban with Cuba and saying the federation is part of the Cuban government. Since Fidel Castro took power, more than 100 Cubans have defected to play professional baseball in the United States.
GALAXY: For the first time, we have a photo of a black hole.
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Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.