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16 Apr, 2024 15:49

Israel calls for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to be designated a ‘terrorist organization’

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says there are legal hurdles preventing such a move
Israel calls for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to be designated a ‘terrorist organization’

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has called on allies to recognize Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization following the massive aerial attack on Israeli territory late on Saturday.

However, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says such a move by the bloc is not legally possible at present.

Iran launched several waves of missiles and kamikaze drones at Israel over the weekend. Tehran explained that the strikes were carried out in retaliation for a presumed Israeli airstrike that obliterated Iran’s consulate in Damascus, Syria on April 1, killing seven IRGC officers, including two generals.  

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, Katz wrote that he had sent letters to 32 nations and had spoken to “dozens of foreign ministers and leading figures around the world, calling for sanctions to be imposed on the Iranian missile project and that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps be declared a terrorist organization.”  

This would help “curb and weaken Iran,” the minister argued, insisting that Tehran “must be stopped now – before it is too late.” 

Meanwhile, in an interview with France’s Le Monde on Tuesday, Borrell said that, while “there have already been several discussions about putting the Revolutionary Guards on the list of terrorist organizations,” this is not a realistic scenario for the time being.

He explained that “for such a listing, a judicial authority in a member state must consider that the organization has committed a terrorist act” – something for which there are apparently no grounds at present.  

French President Emmanuel Macron has urged Israel not to retaliate against Iran militarily. In an interview with BFMTV and RMC radio, the president said the focus should instead be on further isolation of Tehran and more sanctions on the Islamic Republic.   

Tehran has been the subject of a wide range of international sanctions for decades over its missile and nuclear enrichment programs, with the West suspecting that the latter is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.  

Numerous media reports have alleged that the US government has also advised Israel against responding by force.  

Russia has expressed deep concern following the latest escalation between Israel and Iran, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stating on Monday that further escalation of tensions in the region “serves no one’s interests.” 

Moscow has also criticized the UN Security Council for failing to denounce the Israeli airstrike on the Iranian diplomatic premises in Syria earlier this month.