European Parliament recommends EU blacklist Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

European Union’s parliament votes 593 to 7 in favor of resolution calling for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to be added to EU’s terrorism blacklist.

By Andrew Bernard, The Algemenier

The European Parliament on Wednesday voted to call for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be designated as a terrorist group, in a major move which comes amidst the regime’s violent crackdown on protesters following the death of Mahsa Amini in September.

The amendment, which passed by a vote of 593 in favor, 7 against, and 29 abstentions, also requests that the IRGC’s subsidiaries including the Basij militia, used for domestic repression, and its international wing, the Quds Force, be added to the terrorist list.

Currently, the EU only lists the IRGC’s Aerospace Force as a terrorist entity for its role in supplying drones to Russia against Ukraine.

The decision to add countries to the EU terrorist list lies with the EU Council, made up of the leaders of the 27 EU member states, and must be decided unanimously.

EU leaders have previously said that they are considering sanctioning the IRGC without committing to any specific action. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday said she supported designating the IRGC.

“We are looking indeed at a new round of sanctions and I would support also listing the Revolutionary Guards. I have heard several ministers asking for that and I think they are right,” van der Leyen told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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International pressure to designate the IRGC has built in recent weeks following a string of political executions in Iran, including the hanging on Saturday of a British-Iranian national, Alireza Akbari, Iran’s former deputy defense minister whom Iran accused of spying. The UK has withdrawn its ambassador to Iran and was already actively considering designating the IRGC prior to the execution.

The US has said that one objection to imposing sanctions on Iran or the IRGC, that it could upset a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, is now diminished.

“With regard to the JCPOA, the Iranians killed the opportunity to come back to that agreement swiftly many months ago,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday. “There was an opportunity on the table that they rejected, an opportunity that was approved by all who were involved – the Europeans, the United States, Russia and China even at the time.”