More sanctions as Iran and EU clash over IRGC ‘terror’ label

Tehran, Iran – The European Union will step up sanctions targeting Iranian officials deemed to be involved in an ongoing crackdown against anti-government protesters in the

country, but will not go as far as declaring Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a “terrorist” organisation until further legal processes are complete.

“Ministers adopted a new package of sanctions against Iran, targeting those driving the repression,” the EU Presidency said in a tweet on Monday. “The EU strongly condemns the

brutal and disproportionate use of force by the Iranian authorities against peaceful protesters.” The decision saw 37 additional Iranian officials and entities placed on

the sanctions list. However, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, had earlier told reporters that listing the IRGC could not happen until the designation had gone

through a legal process first. “It is something that cannot be decided without a court, a court decision first. You cannot say I consider you a terrorist because I don’t

like you,” Borrell said. In Iran, the government was adamant that any attempts to proscribe the IRGC were illegitimate. “Based on the United Nations Charter and

international law, blacklisting this state entity would constitute a clear violation of the Charter,” Nasser Kanani, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, said, touting the IRGC

as an organisation that significantly contributes to the security of Iran and the region. “Any violation of the IRGC would be a violation of Iran’s national security, and

the repercussions would be directed at the violator,” Kanani added.