Israeli government officials were today renewing their efforts to intensify the pressure on the EU and Germany to sanction Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity.
When asked if the EU and Germany should outlaw the IRGC, Lior Haiat, a spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry told Iran International “We do. Because it is a terror organization.”
Israel’s special envoy for combating antisemitism, Michal Cotler-Wunsh, told Iran International, that the “IRGC and Hezbollah are terror groups and must be designated as such”.
Norbert Röttgen, a German MP from the Christian Democratic Union, told Iran International that "The German government has now repeatedly stated that the legal prerequisites for putting the IRGC on the EU terror list do not exist. This is simply not true. There are numerous cases, from within the EU as well as Canada and the US, which could be used as a basis for the process. I believe that the German government and the EU do not want to put the IRGC on the terror list, because they still hope for a revival of the JCPOA. But this is wishful thinking.“
The JCPOA is an acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal.
Röttgen, who has spearheaded the efforts in Germany and on the continent to classify the IRGC as a terrorist organization, added “The regime has made it abundantly clear that they have no interest in a new deal. They are playing for time to finish building the nuclear bomb and they are already dangerously close. Germany and the EU urgently need a new Iran policy which focuses on supporting the people in Iran which want to get rid of the regime. This entails doing everything within our means to make life as difficult as possible for the Islamic Republic, including putting the IRGC as the political, economic and military center of power of the regime on the EU terror list."
Iran International sent press queries to Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, from the Green party, who has consistently refused to designate the IRGC a terrorist organization.
The United States during the Trump administration designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization in 2019. US lawmakers previously called on American allies to outlaw the IRGC as a terrorist entity.
Iran International reported that Iranians pressed the EU in January to list the IRGC as a terrorist organization.
The European Union Parliament passed a non-binding resolution in early 2023 to sanction the IRGC as a terrorist movement.
Josep Borrell, Europe’s foreign policy chief, according to reports, does not wish to sanction the IRGC because it could impact the Islamic Republic’s willingness to negotiate an atomic deal that would impose temporary restrictions on its illegal nuclear program. Borrell also argues there needs to be a European judicial ruling against the IRGC’s terrorism activities to secure a ban of the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
However, Röttgen and counter-terrorism experts have provided rulings. A telling example was the A German court convicted a Pakistani man in 2017 who was paid by the IRGC to engage in an assassination attempt of pro-Israel advocates.
The Quds Force—a part of the IRGC—paid Pakistani Syed Mustaf at least 2,052 euros from July 2015 to 2016 to spy on Jewish and Israel institutions and carry out the assassination plot.
Borrell’s office did not immediately answer Iran International press queries.
The Islamic Republic’s organized plan to aid Hamas in its massacre of 1,200 people, including at least 31 Americans, was front-and-center in the thinking of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to a report published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Khamenei hinted on two different occasions, in 2022 and 2023, at "The Complete Conquest" of Israel in his media mouthpiece Kayhan.
According to a MEMRI translation from Khamenei’s propaganda outlet, Kayhan, the plan of mass murder was engineered by the late Iranian global terrorist Qassem Soleimani in 2020. The U.S. military assassinated Soleimani in early January 2020 for his overseeing the killing of over 600 American military personnel.
Kayhan wrote, according to the translation, that in August 2023 "The significance is that, last year, the Leader [Khamenei] gave 'the promise of the imminent conquest,' and this year he gave 'the announcement of the complete conquest,' and Operation Al-Aqsa Flood is part of this imminent conquest. This promise and announcement, along with the clarity and power of [Khamenei's] statements and positions in his meeting [with leaders and ambassadors of Islamic countries] on the occasion of the Prophet [Muhammad's] birthday, have profound significance and content."
The European Union has only classified Hezbollah's so-called “military wing” a terrorist entity but permits its “political wing” to raise funds and recruit new members. Hezbollah considers its movement to be a monolithic organization without wings.
The EU commissioner tasked with fighting anti-semitism, Katherina von Schnurbein, and her German counterpart, Felix Klein, have repeatedly refused to urge the EU and Germany to outlaw the lethal antisemitic organization IRGC. Both von Schnurbein and Klein faced criticism this year from Israeli General Amir Avivi because they praised an allegedly deficient German national report to combat antisemitism as a “milestone.” Avivi objected to the report because Klein and Germany’s interior ministry failed to include antisemitism from Hamas and Iran’s regime in the report as major threats to German Jews and the state of Israel.
Klein and von Schnurbein declined to respond if they agreed with their Israeli counterpart, Cotler-Wunsh, about the immediate need to designate Hezbollah and the IRGC as terrorist entities.
After considerable pressure from then-US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, the German interior ministry outlawed all Hezbollah activities within its territory in 2020. Germany, however, has failed to enforce the ban, argue critics. According to German intelligence reports from 2023, there are 1,250 active Hezbollah operatives in Germany.