As international consensus over designating Iran’s IRGC as a terrorist organization is growing, over 100 members of the European Parliament call for proscribing the Guards in its entirety. 

In a Thursday letter to Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice-President, the signatories also urged the EU to expand its sanctions list with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Ebrahim Raisi, Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri and other individuals responsible for violations of human rights.

They also want coordinated efforts to facilitate measures to ensure the safety of the Iranian diaspora in the EU and restrict the access of sanctioned Iranian individuals’ family members to European facilities such as universities.

In the letter, they also asked Borrell to clearly communicate that further executions of Iranian protesters would lead to additional restrictive measures, including economic sanctions.

Stressing the necessity of the correct application and enforcement of the sanctions regime, they emphasized on the Islamic Republic's “despicable role” in the Russian invasion of Ukraine by supplying arms and other means of support. “This fact has to be taken into account, as Iran is thus aiding a criminal Russian state, which keeps on terrorizing the people of Ukraine through relentless bombing of civilians and critical infrastructure,” they said. 

Moreover, according to draft documents seen by POLITICO, the EU is considering fresh sanctions against nearly 40 Iranian individuals and entities. There are overall 27 EU documents which are called an “evidence pack,” as they include the information — mostly press reports — backing up the proposed sanctions. 

There are 17 people the EU is thinking of sanctioning, including regional governors, a lawmaker, a minister and a top official at the state broadcaster (IRIB) World Service, as well as several current and former officials in the IRGC over their key role in the government’s repression. The list also included Sports Minister Hamid Sajjadi Hazaveh, who the document says is “responsible for pressurizing Iran’s athletes into silence, to prevent them from speaking out internationally against repression in Iran.” “He was personally involved in the case of Elnaz Rekabi, an Iranian athlete climber that competed without hijab at the Asian Championship rock climbing competition in the fall of 2022,” read the document. 

Elnaz Rekabi

About 20 entities are also on the list, including Iran’s Communication Regulation Authority (CRA), which “enforces the Iranian government’s requirements to filter Internet content through a spyware called SIAM” and the Ravin Academy, a body that has trained hackers “involved in directly disrupting the communication of those protesting against the Iranian regime.” Twelve regional corps of the IRGC are also included. 

EU countries — led by Germany, France and the Netherlands — have separately been discussing whether to go ahead and label IRGC a “terrorist organization.” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock tweeted in support on Monday, saying the move “is politically important and makes sense.” France has also kept the door open to the idea.

The United States has already designated the IRGC as a terrorist group and the UK is set to follow suit soon, as members of its House of Commons on Thursday unanimously voted for a motion that urges the government to designate IRGC as a terrorist organization. 

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