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Europe will ‘pay dearly’ for its ‘visceral’ moves over anti-IRGC vote, Iran FM warns

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian addresses the 26th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on January 24, 2023. (Photo by

Iran’s foreign minister has censured the European Parliament’s “visceral” vote calling for the designation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terror group, warning that such conduct would be “costly” for Europe.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the correct path for Europe would be rather to concentrate on diplomacy, constructive interaction and rationality.

“We strongly condemn the meddlesome and unconventional resolution of the European Parliament,” Amir-Abdollahian said in an address to the 26th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

“Undoubtedly, the adverse consequences of such emotional behavior will be costly for Europe,” he said.

He added that Iran’s foreign policy doctrine is based on balanced interactions with the world and non-interference in the internal affairs of countries.

The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted an amendment calling on the EU and its member states to include the IRGC on their terror list. It also passed another resolution on Thursday, calling for more sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities and putting the IRGC on the EU terrorist list over alleged human rights violations during the recent riots.

However, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday that the bloc cannot list the IRGC as a “terrorist” entity without an EU court decision.

Amir-Abdollahian also said on Monday that the EU does not appear to be willing to take “costly” steps vis-à-vis Iran after the bloc’s foreign policy chief indicated that legal hurdles stood in the way of labeling the IRGC as a terror group.

‘Insulting religious sanctities not acceptable at all’

Elsewhere in his Tuesday speech, the top Iranian diplomat strongly condemned any act of desecrating the sanctities of divine religions, particularly the Holy Qur’an of Muslims.

He said Western countries’ support for these acts in the name of freedom of expression is “not acceptable at all.”

The reaction came days after right-wing Danish-Swedish leader Rasmus Paludan received permission from his country’s government to burn the sacred Muslim book in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. He was protected by the police while committing the blasphemous act.

Back in April, Paludan had tried to burn a copy of the Qur’an in a heavily-populated Muslim area.

ECO can turn into model of cooperation: Amir-Abdollahian

Amir-Abdollahian also said the existing energy security crisis in the region and the world clearly reveals the vulnerability of energy consuming countries to unexpected shocking issues.

“The ECO region can turn into a model of cooperation between energy producing countries and energy consuming countries. Undoubtedly, participation in the gas and electricity sectors is among ECO’s priorities in this regard,” he added.

He noted that ECO requires investment in the fields of modern technologies, knowledge-based industries and digitalized economic activities, expressing Iran’s readiness to share its experience with member states of the organization in this regard.

Iran calls for formation of inclusive government in Afghanistan

Moving on to the issue of neighboring Afghanistan, Amir-Abdollahian said the establishment of an inclusive government in the war-wracked country will help Kabul implement its reconstruction plans and reduce the threats of terrorist operations, refugees and smuggling of narcotics in the region.

He said that Iran has always supported the effective implementation of the ECO’s policy on supporting Afghanistan, which he called a “very important member” of the organization.

“In addition to its responsible performance within the regional frameworks, the Islamic Republic of Iran is also committed to its undertakings in the international arena,” he said.

“It is among the Islamic Republic of Iran’s priorities to pay heed to human rights issues in line with national and Islamic principles, the Constitution, and international commitments.”

Iran has always welcomed dialogue based on mutual respect and constructive interaction with its partners, he added.

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