TEHRAN: Iran condemned on Thursday a European Parliament call to blacklist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group, which would pave the way for sanctions against the powerful military force.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian “strongly criticised the emotional approach of the European Parliament and labelled the move inappropriate and incorrect”, in a phone call with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Amir-Abdollahian called the resolution from Wednesday “harsh and unprofessional” and warned the EU must “think about the negative consequences of this emotional behaviour”.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces, Iran’s most senior military body which oversees both the Guards and regular army, warned the move “will affect regional and global security, tranquility and peace, and the European Parliament should be careful about its consequences”.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi also weighed in, calling the European Parliament’s move an act of “desperation”. The parliament had urged “the EU and its member states to include the IRGC on the EU’s terrorist list in the light of its terrorist activity, the repression of protesters and its supplying of drones to Russia.” The vote is non-binding but comes with EU foreign ministers already due to discuss tightening sanctions on Tehran at a meeting in Brussels next week.

The Guards oversee the volunteer Basij paramilitary force, which has been deployed against protests since mid-September triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest for allegedly violating Iran’s dress code for women.The Guards, formed shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution, answer to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and boast their own ground, naval and air forces.

The United States has already placed both the IRGC and its Quds Force, in charge of activities abroad, on its list of “foreign terrorist organisations”.

Then-US president Donald Trump ordered a January 2020 drone strike in Iraq that killed Quds Force commander General Qasem Soleimani.

Iran’s top diplomat stressed in the phone call with Borrell that the IRGC is a “sovereign institution that plays an important and vital role in providing Iran’s national security and the security of the region”.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Border clashes
19 May, 2024

Border clashes

THE Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier has witnessed another series of flare-ups, this time in the Kurram tribal district...
Penalising the dutiful
19 May, 2024

Penalising the dutiful

DOES the government feel no remorse in burdening honest citizens with the cost of its own ineptitude? With the ...
Students in Kyrgyzstan
Updated 19 May, 2024

Students in Kyrgyzstan

The govt ought to take a direct approach comprising convincing communication with the students and Kyrgyz authorities.
Ominous demands
Updated 18 May, 2024

Ominous demands

The federal government needs to boost its revenues to reduce future borrowing and pay back its existing debt.
Property leaks
18 May, 2024

Property leaks

THE leaked Dubai property data reported on by media organisations around the world earlier this week seems to have...
Heat warnings
18 May, 2024

Heat warnings

STARTING next week, the country must brace for brutal heatwaves. The NDMA warns of severe conditions with...