(Persia Digest) - The Iraqi prime minister rejected a recent US claim that Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) controls “some 20 percent” of the Arab country’s economy, saying Washington is lying about the role of the military force.

Tasnim reports that the Americans speak of "20 percent, 10 percent, five percent or whatever other proportion…I don’t know how they have calculated these figures,” Adel Abdul-Mahdi told reporters on Wednesday.

“We enjoy advanced economic ties and business transactions with Iran, but this is different from maintaining economic relations with the Corps,” he added.

The premier rejected as mere “lies” such allegations by US officials, stressing that the elite Iranian defense force was not engaged in any economic activity in Iraq.

Last week, the United States designated the IRGC as a “foreign terrorist organization.”

The remarks by the top Iraqi official came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a recent interview described the blacklisting of the IRGC as “one of the pieces” of Washington’s sanctions effort against Tehran.

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“With respect to the designation, which actually came into effect just this week, some – the unclassified – some 20 percent of the Iraqi economy is controlled by the IRGC. So my wisdom for those of you who are connected to companies that might be doing business with them or if you’re the general counsel for a European bank that’s doing business with a company that might have a 20 percent shareholder, the IRGC, is you should check your work,” the secretary added.

Responding to US President Donald Trump’s move, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council immediately declared the US as a state sponsor of terrorism and US forces in the region terrorists.

The SNSC said it has put CENTCOM on its terror list as a “reciprocal measure” against the US “illegal and unwise” move.

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