Parliament members express horror over recent executions of protestors who took part in massive protests challenging Iran’s regime
The European Parliament on Wednesday called on the European Union and its member states to place Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the bloc’s terror list.
In the leadup to the vote – which ended as 598-9 in favor, with 31 abstentions – parliament members expressed horror over recent executions of protestors who took part in massive protests challenging Iran’s regime.
“As long as Revolutionary Guards terrorize their own people and the entire region, we should treat them as terrorists and put them on the sanctions list,” said German lawmaker Hannah Neumann.
Designating the IRGC as a terrorist group would mean that it would become a criminal offense to belong to the group, attend its meetings, and carry its logo in public. Set up after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect the Shiite clerical ruling system, the Guards have great influence in Iran, controlling swathes of the economy and armed forces, and in charge of the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
Click here for an Explainer on Iran’s IRGC.
The day prior to the vote, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she backed the listing to respond to the “trampling” of “fundamental human rights” in the country.
Iran has been gripped by unrest for over four months over the death of Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, who was killed while in the custody of Tehran’s morality police for allegedly breaking the country’s strict dress code for women. Iranian leaders vowed tough action against protesters they have described as rioters, accusing enemies including the United States and Israel of fomenting the unrest.
Dual nationals have also been increasingly targeted in the crackdown, with dozens being detained among as many as 18,516 arrested and hundreds killed overall since the protests sparked, according to rights group HRANA.
Britain is expected to make the decision on listing the IRGC as a terror group in the coming weeks.