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MEPs Criticize Borrell Over EU’s Refusal To List IRGC As Terrorist


The EU’s foreign policy chief has reiterated the bloc’s refusal to label Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist entity, sparking further criticism by MEPs during Wednesday’s plenary debate.

In response to Iran’s attack on Israel this month, Josep Borrell said new measures are being leveled against Tehran, which include expanding existing sanctions regimes related to drones and missiles, as well as extending these measures to Iran-affiliated groups in the Middle East.

The EU has not designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization, despite calls to do so and a resolution by the European Parliament last year voting to that effect.

Arguing that the bloc has already listed Tehran’s paramilitary force under the “Iran Weapons of Mass Destruction” sanctions’ regime, Borrell said that “listing this organization as a ‘terrorist organization’ would have no practical effect.”

In response to Borrell’s argument that the legal grounds for the listing have not been met, Charlie Weimers, a Swedish representative, called the EU chief “a liar.”

“That is nonsense. Here, I have the council’s secret legal opinion. Nowhere in this document does it say that it has to be an authority in the EU…“You know that. You knew the truth. You shamelessly lied to protect the IRGC. We won’t miss you, Mr. Borrell, but I’m sure the mullahs will,” Weimers stated.

German MEP Hannah Neumann, who has long argued for the designation of the IRGC, said: “What more does this regime have to do until you finally wake up to the harsh realities? The IRGC is a terror organization…The drones and missiles attacking Israel and attacking our ships in the Red Sea are manufactured in Iran, and we should have sanctioned all those involved months ago.”

“And last but not least, the regime is not legitimately representing the people of Iran, and you should stop pretending it would,” Neumann added, directly addressing Borell.

German MEP Hannah Neumann

Several MEPs and activists have taken steps to prepare the groundwork for the EU to act on calls to list the IRGC as a terror organization.

Last July, two MEPs stated that the IRGC could be listed without any legal obstacles under Article 1(4) of the “Common Position 2001/931/CFSP.”

This point of view was also espoused by Iran’s exiled prince Reza Pahlavi, citing a group of French-Iranian lawyers who held the view that the European Union does not have any legal obstacles to blacklisting the Revolutionary Guards.