Iran warns EU parliament of consequences if IRGC is put on terror blacklist

Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian calls European bloc’s policy chief Borrel, tells him resolution urging Guards be added to roster is ’emotional, harsh and unprofessional’

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian attends a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara on January 17, 2023. (Adem ALTAN / AFP)
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian attends a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara on January 17, 2023. (Adem ALTAN / AFP)

Iran condemned as “inappropriate and incorrect” Thursday a call by the European Parliament to blacklist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror group.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian “strongly criticized the emotional approach of the European Parliament and labeled the move inappropriate and incorrect” in a telephone call with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the ministry said.

“Unfortunately, we witnessed the issuance of a draft of an emotional, harsh and unprofessional resolution by the European Parliament, which is in conflict with political rationality and civility,” the minister said.

His remarks came a day after MEPs voted in an amendment to an annual foreign policy report to urge the EU to blacklist the IRGC, the ideological arm of Iran’s armed forces.

The vote is non-binding but it comes with EU foreign ministers already due to discuss tightening sanctions on Tehran at a meeting in Brussels next week.

Amir-Abdollahian warned Europe to “think about the negative consequences of this emotional behavior.”

“It is necessary to respect mutual security in the world of diplomacy and increase mutual trust instead of following the language of threats and unfriendly actions,” he said.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell arrives for the EU-ASEAN summit in Brussels, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

The European parliament cited the IRGC’s “terrorist activity, repression of protesters, and supply of drones to Russia” in its blacklisting call.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Iran of delivering combat drones to Russia for use in the war on Ukraine it launched last February, an allegation Tehran denies.

Iran has been rocked by more than four months of protests triggered by the September 16 death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, following her arrest by morality police for an alleged breach of the Islamic republic’s dress code for women.

Authorities say hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed and thousands arrested during the “riots.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen praised the vote on Wednesday, labeling it an “important step in the struggle against the Iranian regime!”

“Iran exports terror to the entire globe, and the Revolutionary Guard is the largest terror organization in the world. I’ve raised the issue in policy discussions with foreign ministers and leaders since entering this role,” he tweeted.

Some EU capitals have begun to move toward adding the IRGC to the terrorist blacklist, which would expose another important plank in the Islamic Republic’s government to sanctions.

In the past, some have resisted this call, fearing it would be based on shaky legal grounds and further poison already frostbitten ties between the West and Tehran.

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