Home iran UK Foreign Secretary Opposes Proscription Of IRGC

UK Foreign Secretary Opposes Proscription Of IRGC


UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron says the existing sanctions against Iran are sufficient, arguing against the proscription of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

In a session with the House of Lords International Relations and Defense Committee on Tuesday, Cameron claimed that such a move could sever diplomatic channels which are vital for communication and conflict de-escalation with Iran, deemed the world’s number one state sponsor of terror by the US last year. 

“There is a disadvantage, to be frank about it, from proscription, which is that it would effectively end diplomatic relations…I think that is not in Britain’s interest, that wouldn’t strengthen our approach, in many ways it would weaken it.”

The IRGC, beyond its regional operations, including attacks and military actions in Syria, Iraq, and recently Israel, has also carried out multiple attempted plots on UK soil. Despite this, Cameron stated that the current sanctions regime against the IRGC is adequate for the UK to address any illegal activities by Iran.

“We have sanctioned the IRGC in its entirety. When I ask law enforcement, police, intelligence services, others, is this extra step of proscription necessary in order to take further action against these people when they do the things that we disapprove of, the answer is no.”

Last week, following Iran’s attempted aerial attack on Israel earlier this month, in which over 350 missiles and drones were sent towards the Jewish state, but most intercepted by Israel and a US-led coalition, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for increased sanctions against Tehran and for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be designated as a terrorist organization.

The resolution was passed after intense debate where Josep Borrell, the EU Foreign Policy Chief, faced criticism for not already designating the IRGC as such. Borrell defended his position by stating that the IRGC is already under severe sanctions as part of the “Iran Weapons of Mass Destruction” sanctions regime, and adding a terrorist designation would be redundant and ineffective. This led Swedish representative Charlie Weimers to openly accuse Borrell of lying.

Iran is now heavily sanctioned for its nuclear program, its military support for Russia’s war on Ukraine, and severe human rights abuses at home. However, its nuclear enrichment has continued in spite of sanctions, as has its rights violations and selling drones to Russia for use in Ukraine.