Brit MPs push for Iranian Revolutionary Guard terrorist label

A cross-party group of over 100 British lawmakers and members of the House of Lords signed a letter on April 18 calling for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) to be designated as a terrorist group just days after Iran’s direct retaliation strike on Israel, The Times reported. 

The US slapped the terrorist label on the group, believed to have been largely involved in Hamas’ assault on Israel on October 7, in April 2019 and there have been talks about their Transatlantic ally following their lead for over a year. 

The letter, signed by 134 peers and MPs, was addressed to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and written by the chair and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Israel in the UK Parliament (APPG), Conservative MP Bob Blackman and Labour MP Christian Wakeford respectively. 

It read: “Last year, on April 19, cross-party parliamentarians wrote to you regarding the urgent need to proscribe the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror organisation. Today (April 18), one year later, it is more pertinent and crucial that your government finally proscribe the IRGC.” 

On April 14, Iran directly attacked Israel as just over 300 missiles and drones were launched into the country. The overwhelming majority of strikes were foiled by Israel’s Air Force and allies and the only reported damages were on the country’s Nevatim Airbase in the south. 

READ: EU leaders back new Iran sanctions

The letter also noted: “Iran carried out an unprecedented direct attack on Israeli soil, which included 110 ballistic missiles, over 30 cruise missiles and 200 UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) launched largely from Iran but also from territories in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. We thank our government and the Royal Air Force for the part they played in standing with Israel, alongside the United States, France, the Kingdom of Jordan and Saudi Arabia to defend against the Iranian threat. 

“The government has rightly proscribed Hamas and Hezbollah as terror groups which have been an essential step in combating extremism and terrorism here in the UK, but it is not enough. Given that the IRGC is the primary source of ideological radicalisation, funding, equipment and training for these dangerous groups, it is the responsibility of the government to act against the root cause as well.” 

A day prior, all 27 EU – which the UK in no longer part of – leaders unanimously agreed to impose fresh sanctions on the Iranian regime during a meeting in Brussels. 

The EU Council said in a statement: “The European Union will take further restrictive measures against Iran, notably in relation to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles. The European Union remains fully committed to contributing to de-escalation and security in the region.”   

The bloc had already sanctioned the country in December 2022 for human rights breaches as well for the role they are currently playing in arming Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine. 

The Times/ Middle East Eye 

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