Iran has called criticism over its handling of popular protests “intervention” in its “internal affairs” and slammed Germany’s plans to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity.

Foreign ministry spokesman Naser Kanaani in his weekly briefing on Monday said that the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) is an official military organization of the Islamic Republic and sanctioning it would be “a totally illegal act.”

“Statements by German officials about sanctioning the IRGC, following unconstructive and irresponsible actions by this country, emanates from their wrong approach toward the government and people of Iran,” Kanaani claimed. He added, Iran “hopes that Germany and other countries who have a plan in this regard, will pay attention to their unconstructive actions and not sacrifice their bilateral relations to passing political issues and emotional decisions.”

Iran’s security forces have killed at least 270 citizens since protests broke out in mid-September when a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini was killed in ‘morality police’ custody. The government has deployed tens of thousands of regular IRGC troops, its Basij militia and plainclothes agents to attack protesters. Thousands have been arrested and more than 1,000 already indicted for participating in demonstrations.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Sunday that her country and the European Union were examining whether to classify Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization for its use of violence in the protests.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, October 21, 2022

"I made it clear last week that we will launch another package of sanctions, that we will examine how we can also list the Revolutionary Guards [IRGC] as a terrorist organization," Baerbock said in an interview with ARD broadcaster on Sunday.

The IRGC is already listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and Tehran tried hard during the long nuclear negotiations in 2021 and 2022 to have Washington lift the designation. The Biden Administration called such demands extraneous to the nuclear talks.

The negotiations have paused since August over Iran’s demands, which are unacceptable for the United States. When Tehran adopted its position in response to an EU draft proposal, protests had not started and now it finds itself in more international isolation than two months ago.

US and Albania have also proposed an informal UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in Iran. The format of the meeting is called the “Arria formula”, after its originator, Diego Arria, a Venezuelan ambassador who in 1992 initiated the first informal meeting of the Council to discuss the crisis in former Yugoslavia. The meetings take place in a non-rigid setup where member states can hear comments by individuals and non-state actors.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman on Monday dismissed the significance of the meeting and claimed that the aim of the meeting is to put “political pressure on the Islamic Republic,” and is the continuation of a clear policy of interference by the American government in Iran’s internal developments.”

Kanaani criticized the US for planning to ask Iranian expatriate activists to testify during the informal Security Council meeting, calling such individuals “known elements” with Iranian identity, who in the past never raised their voice against US sanctions.

The spokesman again repeated Iranian denials about supplying military drones to Russia used against civilian targets in Ukraine. Kanaani said that Tehran has never supplied weapons to the warring sides. The denials come as the United States and others have raised strong objections to the deployment of mostly suicide drones and Ukraine has produced evidence obtained from downed UAVs.

G4 Protest Special - Morning (12\')
The Last Word
G4 Protest Special - Morning (12\')

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