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President Bush designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. Bush named the 125,000-strong Guards, loyal to the clerical strata in Iran’s hierarchy, as a “specially designated global terrorist” group and froze its U.S. assets, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. Such a designation makes it difficult for any group or individual to make financial transactions, as most of the world’s financial institutions route their dealings through U.S. banks. According to the Post, Bush blames the Guards for intervening in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for backing terrorism elsewhere in the Middle East. The Guards had a role in creating Hezbollah in Lebanon in the mid-1980s. The Guards are only one branch of Iran’s military forces, and it is unusual to place what is essentially a national army on the list. The Bush administration is seeking new ways of isolating Iran as it appears headed toward manufacturing a nuclear device.

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