The European Union’s foreign policy chief says the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its subsidiaries cannot be included on the bloc's terrorist list until an EU court has determined that the Iranian elite force is a terrorist entity.
“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,’” Josep Borrell told reporters on January 23 before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
Borrell said that the court of an EU member state has to issue a concrete legal condemnation before the bloc itself can act.
The European Parliament last week overwhelmingly voted to call on the EU to recognize the IRGC and its affiliates, including the paramilitary Basij militia and the expeditionary Quds Force, as terrorist entities.
The European lawmakers blamed the force for its role in the “brutal” repression of ongoing nationwide protests and the supply of drones to Russia’s military engaged in Ukraine.
The vote has received strong condemnation from senior Iranian officials and military commanders, with Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian saying the Islamic Republic would take “reciprocal measures” if the Europeans list the IRGC as a terrorist entity.
The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces warned that the move would “affect regional and global security, calm and peace."
Parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and other lawmakers threatened European armed forces with a “terrorist” designation.