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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps warned EU against listing it as terror group

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps warned the European Union on Saturday not to make the “mistake” of designating it as a terrorist group after the bloc’s parliament called for action.

MEPs voted Wednesday to include the IRGC on the 27-member bloc’s terrorist list “in light of its terrorist activities, repression of protesters and drone deliveries to Russia.”

The vote is non-binding but comes with EU foreign ministers to discuss tightening sanctions against the Islamic Republic next week.

“If the Europeans make a mistake, they must accept the consequences,” IRGC chief Major General Hossein Salami said in his first remarks on the EU’s move, according to the Guards’ Sepah News website.

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The European Union “thinks it can shake this huge army with such statements,” Salami said.

“We are never afraid of such threats or even acting on them because whenever our enemies give us a chance to act, we act stronger,” he added.

Guards monitor the Basij volunteer paramilitary force, which was deployed against protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest for allegedly violating Iran’s dress code for women.

Iranian authorities said hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, had been killed and thousands arrested in the unrest.

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Formed shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Guards answer to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and boast their own land, sea and air forces.

The United States has already placed both the IRGC and its foreign arm, the Quds Force, on its list of “foreign terrorist organizations.”

Salami’s comments came as he received the speaker of Iran’s parliament, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, a former commander of the Guards Air Force.

“We in parliament are ready to deal firmly with any action that seeks to harm the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and distort the truth,” Ghalibaf said, according to Sepah News.

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