Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at the IRGC military academy. (AP)

April 10, 2019

US State Department officials called on EU states to take a step similar to that of the US and add the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on their terror list.

This request aims at increasing pressure on the Iranian regime in order to keep it from financing IRGC-affiliated militias in the region and planning terrorist operations from within European territory.

US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook and US Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales said the Iranian regime had used the IRGC to threaten the Middles East’s security and stability, leading the US administration to classify it as a terrorist organization.

They both stressed that the US and Europe share the same views in regard to dangers posed by Iran’s threats in terms of terrorism, ballistic missile tests, human rights violations, and women’s oppression.

“We obviously disagree (with Europeans) about the Iran Nuclear Deal, but whenever we’re in a room with our European allies and we talk about Iran’s threats, the missile testing, ballistic missile testing, missile proliferation, the terrorism, terror finance, cyber-attacks, maritime aggression, human rights abuses, the arbitrary detention of dual nationals, the oppression of women, we see eye to eye on this,” Hook explained.

“I think Europe and our European allies understand that Iran has been able to leverage the Iran Nuclear Deal to expand its ballistic missile testing, and that’s because the Iran Nuclear Deal ended the prohibition on Iran’s ballistic missile testing,” he added.

“So we are hopeful, especially after the Summary of Conclusions that Europe issued in January that at some point we would love to see the EU match our designations on Iran’s, on the individuals and entities that are facilitating Iran’s missile program.”

“We think it’s in Europe’s interest, it’s in our interest, certainly in the interest of the Middle East to do that,” he noted.

Sales, for his part, stressed that European companies would face a federal crime if they engage in any dealings with IRGC, noting that European companies have stronger business ties with the United States.

“Any company that is considering doing business with Iran should take very seriously the risk that in so doing it will be providing material support to the IRGC and potentially incurring federal criminal liability,” Sales said.

Both officials pointed to Iran’s history of threats, such as closing the Strait of Hormuz, executing terrorism in Europe, Argentina, Asia, and the Middle East.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.