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Russia sees silver lining in Trump’s IRGC terror designation

Moscow expects little immediate fallout from the US designation for Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, but is worried about its long-term consequences even as it benefits from some angles.
Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard listen to a speech in parliament in Tehran on October 7, 2018, over the a bill to counter terrorist financing. - The bill, one of four put forward by the government to meet demands set by the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF), was passed by 143 votes to 120, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States' designation of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization is the Donald Trump administration's latest effort to exert political pressure on Iran. Moscow, which is allied with Tehran in its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has predictably condemned the move — yet there could be some unexpected benefits for Moscow.

In recent years, Russia and Iran have been partners in the fight against anti-government forces in Syria, but as the military phase of the conflict dies down, the relationship between Moscow and Tehran has grown to be more nuanced if not complicated. Russia thus monitors and weighs in on US-led initiatives concerning Iran with great attention and care.

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