Senior defense and intelligence officials have cautioned the White House that a proposal to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization could endanger U.S. troops in Iraq and the overall fight against the Islamic State, and would be an unprecedented use of a law that was not designed to sanction government institutions.

Defense and intelligence concerns have been expressed at the highest levels over the past several days, as the White House was preparing to roll out an executive order dealing with both Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Muslim Brotherhood, according to administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sensitive matter.

The order would direct the State Department — in charge of the designation process — to move toward declaring them terrorist organizations.

A senior White House official said the order was still under active consideration as part of the new administration’s determination to take a hard line against Iran, but the official acknowledged concerns. “I don’t think it’s so much Defense and intelligence; I think it’s ourselves,” the official said.


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