The European Parliament on Thursday (January 19th) asked the EU to include the Revolutionary Guards, Tehran's ideological army, on the blacklist of "
MEPs, meeting in plenary session, adopted by show of hands a resolution calling on the European Union and its Member States to include the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution on the EU list of terrorism.
Tehran warned that such a decision would have "
", at a time when the subjects of friction with the European Union have been multiplying for several months against the backdrop of the protest movement in the country and the war in Ukraine.
In the amendment adopted on Wednesday, MEPs blame the IRGC for "
the repression of demonstrators
" mobilized against power since the death on September 16 of Mahsa Amini, but also for "
the supply of drones to Russia
" within the framework of the war in Ukraine.
European countries are also mobilized to obtain the release of their nationals, including several dual nationals, detained in Iran.
France said on Tuesday that it was "
" about the state of health of Bernard Phelan, a 64-year-old Franco-Irish, who went on a hunger and thirst strike.
The 27 member states of the EU strongly denounced the execution on January 14 of the Iranian-British Alireza Akbari, a former official in the Iranian Ministry of Defense sentenced to death for spying for the British intelligence services.
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These tensions come to reinforce the difficulties of the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear, more than ever in the impasse even if Josep Borrell affirmed to Hossein Abdollahian his will to continue his “
” to reach an agreement, according to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs .
Towards economic and financial sanctions?
The text adopted Thursday explicitly underlines in particular that the Quds forces and the Bassij militia, which are affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, must also be blacklisted.
Taking into account the fact that the Guardians are present in the Iranian economy through numerous companies that they directly or indirectly control, the text also calls for the prohibition of "
any economic or financial activity
" with them.
For Yannick Jadot, MEP Europe Ecology the Greens, it is time to add "
the ideological and repressive arm of the Mullahs' regime
" to the European list of terrorist organizations.
This is how Europe will be equal to the magnificent fight of Iranian men and women for their freedoms and for the values of the Union
", he added, stressing that the ball was now in the court of the European Council.
Crossing a new level of tension: Tehran's reaction
Tehran warned that such a decision would have "
", while the subjects of friction with the European Union (EU) have multiplied for several months against the backdrop of the protest movement in the country and the war in Ukraine.
This tension is likely to reach a new level if the EU agrees with the opinion of a majority of MEPs who have asked it to describe the Corps of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a "
", as did the United States in 2019.
Ultimately, the decision - which is complex to implement legally - is up to the European Council, which alone has the power to apply sanctions.
Some Member States have declared themselves in favor of it, while others are more cautious.
A fourth package of sanctions against Iran will be on the menu for the next meeting of foreign ministers on January 23.
An approach deemed “emotional”
The position taken by MEPs is "
" and based on "
an emotional approach
", denounced the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, during a telephone exchange with the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.
For him, the EU
would "shoot itself in the foot
" by blacklisting the IRGC, considered by experts to be Iran's most powerful military and security force.
“Vital role” for national security
The IRGC is an official and sovereign institution that plays a vital role in ensuring the national security of Iran and the region, especially in the fight against terrorism
," the minister explained.
Placing him on the blacklist "
would affect security, tranquility and peace
", added the army staff.
By asserting that, without the commitment of the Guardians, "
European governments would be under the control of Daesh
", the Islamic State group active in particular in Syria and Iraq.
Created in 1979 after the victory of the revolution against the power of the Shah, the Guardians (“
” in Persian) have land, naval and air forces with manpower estimated at more than 120,000 men.
Among the roles assigned to the Guardians are the security of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, through which many tankers pass, and the management of ballistic development programs.