Amid ramped-up pressure to further isolate the Iranian regime, the State Department said it is encouraging European Union and the United Kingdom to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and supports its allies’ recent consideration of the move.
A State Department official told Al Arabiya English that Washington certainly encourages its allies and partners to consider any applicable sanctions authorities, including whether the IRGC – which is designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT)- should be designated as a terrorist organization under their laws.
European countries have so far been hesitant to follow US suit and designate the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization, but attitudes appear to be changing in European capitals in light of Tehran’s cracking down on protestors in recent months and the stalled talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA).
On top of that, Tehran has even executed a dual Iranian-British citizen, who was accused of being a foreign spy and has also detained several European citizens.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen voiced her support on Tuesday for designating the IRGC as a terror group and British media have suggested that London is also seriously considering the move which would make it illegal to belong to the group or hoist its flag in public.
Although Washington was reportedly considering dropping the IRGC from its blacklist last year with the Biden administration becoming adamant about reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, the plan was put on hold following reported Pentagon frustration as well as the strong bipartisan opposition to the agreement within the US Congress.
The outgoing Israeli army chief said in an interview last week that President Biden ultimately chose not to move ahead with this move which was reportedly a demand of the Iranian negotiating team after the Pentagon expressed its opposition to revoking IRGC’s designation.