The Iranian Revolutionary Guard threatened the European Union, which is considering declaring it a terrorist organization: “If they do, there will be consequences”

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander-in-Chief Major General Hossein Salami speaks during a funeral ceremony in Shiraz, Iran. October 29, 2022. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS/File (WANA NEWS AGENCY/)

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard warned on Saturday at European Union not make the “mistake” of classifying the organization as a terrorist group”after the European Parliament asked to include them in the list.

The European Parliament voted on Wednesday in favor of including the Revolutionary Guard in the list of “terrorist” organizations of the block for his role in the repression of protests in Iran and the delivery of drones to Russia.

This vote is not binding, but precedes a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers to discuss tightening sanctions against Iran next week.

“If the Europeans make a mistake, there will be consequences”said the head of the organization, hosein salamiaccording to Sepah Newsthe website of this body.

European Parliament session on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 in Strasbourg, France.  (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
European Parliament session on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 in Strasbourg, France. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias) (Jean-Francois Badias/)

The European Union “thinks that with a declaration of this type it can shake off a huge armySalami noted.

“We never worry about these types of threats or act in relation to them, because when our enemies give us the opportunity to act, we do so with more force”, he added.

The Guardians of the Revolution, or Revolutionary Guard, oversee the Basij volunteer paramilitary force that has been deployed against the protests that have shaken the country since the September death of Mahsa Aminia 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who died in detention after being arrested for allegedly violating the strict dress code for women.

The The European Parliament asked the European Union (EU) on Thursday to incorporate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard between the “terrorist organizations”, despite Tehran’s warnings.

General Qolamreza Soleimani, the head of the Basjij Organization (IRNA)
General Qolamreza Soleimani, head of the Basjij militia that answers to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard of Iran (IRNA)

The text adopted on Thursday, approved by a show of hands, specifically highlights that the forces Al Quds and the paramilitary militia Basijwho are affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard, should also be included in the list.

As the Revolutionary Guard is present in the Iranian economy through numerous Business that it directly or indirectly controls, the text also calls for the prohibition of “any economic or financial activity” with those signatures.

The motion on this request had been announced on Wednesday in the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, and prompted an immediate reaction from the Iranian regime.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahianmaintained a telephone contact with the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, who warned about “negative consequences” of such a decision.

“We have affirmed on numerous occasions that the Revolutionary Guard is an official and sovereign institution that plays a important and vital role in the national security of Iran and the region“, said amir abdolahian.

A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, in Tehran, Iran, September 19, 2022. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS/File
A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, in Tehran, Iran, on September 19, 2022. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS/File (WANA NEWS AGENCY/)

In a statement, the Iranian Foreign Ministry noted that in its conversation with Borrell Abdollahian “he strongly criticized the emotional position of the European Parliament and described the decision as inappropriate and incorrect”.

Relations between Iran and the EU have been strained since the beginning of the protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini.

The protests are carried out above all by young people and women shouting “woman, life, freedom”in which they launch slogans against the regime and burn veils, one of the symbols of the Islamic Republic and something unthinkable not long ago.

The Iranian authorities have responded with a strong police repression which has caused almost 500 dead and nearly 20,000 detaineesaccording to NGOs based outside of Iran.

To this is added the execution of four protestersone of them public, and sentences to hang at least 17 people.

Bloody armed wing of the regime

The strength of the Iranian regime was born in 1979 after the Islamic Revolution who deposed the Shah of Persia and established the current theocratic regime led by the ayatollahs.

Also Known As pasdaran (“guardians” in Farsi), this paramilitary force was thought of as a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces in charge of protecting precisely the theocratic regime and the Islamic republicas opposed to the more traditional border protection role of the army, navy and air force.

Its existence is protected by article 150 of the Constitution of Iran, and it is one of the most powerful formations of the Persian state and one of its most politically motivated.

It is believed that it currently has more 120,000 members stationed in land, naval and air units, and the Quds Force, which is its overseas operations division. Also, controls Basij militias, which number another 90,000 members.

Its troops fought as paramilitary units in the war between Iran and Iraq between 1980 and 1988; in the civil war in Lebanon between 1975 and 1990 and during the Israeli invasion of 2006; and more recently in the civil wars in Syria and Iraq. Specifically in the Syrian conflict that began in 2011, they have become one of the main allies of the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad and one of the reasons why he has not fallen.

His involvement as a sponsor of terrorism and his destabilizing role accused by The United States, which in 2019 designated it as a terrorist organization, They are related to the actions of the Quds Force, which precisely directs Iranian operations in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, among other countries. In this role, the Quds Force supports and trains the terrorist groups Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, as well as Houthi militias in Yemen and various Shiite groups in Syria and Afghanistan.

The group is also linked to the development of the Iranian atomic program and its military side.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

Keep reading:

New reports on the protests in Iran estimate the death toll from the regime’s repression at 522

The EU will extend its sanctions against Iran for the repression of the protests: more than 14,000 people have already been arrested

Amnesty International denounced the Iranian regime for multiple human rights violations to oppress social protest