By Benjamin Brown • 12 February, 2020
A Member of the European Parliament (MEP) has called on the European Union (EU) to declare the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, a terrorist organization.
Spanish MEP Antonio López-Istúriz has called on the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Affairs, Josep Borrell, to include the Revolutionary Guards in the EU’s list of terror organizations.
In his request, the General Secretary of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), cited the recent shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 by the IRGC, “murdering 176 innocent persons of which 16 were Europeans.”
López-Istúriz added that the Iranian government’s “refusal to cooperate” with other states in the investigation of the event exemplified the Iranian leadership’s “incompetence committed by the regime’s ideological and expansionist armed branch.”
The Spanish politician additionally spoke of the “brutal repressions of the Iranian regime” during November’s protests, in which at least 1,500 people were killed. The United Nations declared that at least 7,000 people had been detained. In a press release, López-Istúriz called the acts “flagrant violations of human rights and an unacceptable use of security forces to drown out freedom of expression and opinion.”
López-Istúriz further referenced Iran’s regional policy declaring that its “increasingly aggressive tone” had put “the peace and stability of the entire region in grave danger.”
The IRGC was founded by Ayatollah Khomeini after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and, according to the Iranian Constitution, is intended to protect the state’s Islamic republic political system.
In 2019, US President Donald Trump declared the IRGC a terrorist organization in the United States.
The designation was the first time that the US had ever named a part of another government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
“This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences. We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior,” Trump vowed at the time.