Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticised a US plan to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.

“The US is not in position to start naming others as terror organisations and we reject any attempt by the US in this regard,” he told reporters on a sideline of a conference in Doha on Wednesday. “The US is supporting the biggest terrorist in the region, that is Israel.”

President Donald Trump is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organisation, the White House said on Tuesday, which would lead to sanctions against the movement.

“The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an email.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had urged Trump to take the step during an April 9 visit to the White House, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing officials familiar with the matter.

After the meeting, Trump praised Sisi as a “great president,” as a bipartisan group of US politicians raised concerns about Sisi’s record on human rights.

In a statement on its website, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Ikhwan al-Muslimeen, dismissed the planned move, saying: “The Muslim Brotherhood will remain stronger – through God’s grace and power – than any decision.”

It added: “We will remain … steadfast in our work in accordance with our moderate and peaceful thinking and what we believe to be right, for honest and constructive cooperation to serve the communities in which we live, and humanity as a whole.”

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