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Iran will give ‘harsh’ response if IRGC blacklisted by EU: Amir-Abdollahian

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) meets on January 29 with four members of the Iranian Parliament who were recently targeted by the European Union’s sanctions. (Photo by Iranian Foreign Ministry)

Iran’s foreign minister has reiterated the country’s unstinting support for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), warning of a “harsh” response to the European Parliament’s call to blacklist the elite force as a terrorist group.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a Sunday meeting with four members of the Iranian Parliament, who were recently targeted by the European Union’s sanctions.

Amir-Abdollahian vehemently condemned the move, saying Europe’s decision showed that it lacks an “accurate understanding” of the state of affairs in Iran and even the mindset of Iranians living abroad.

The European Union’s move “shows that your actions have been effective in defending Iran’s national interests,” he said. “For this reason, they took such a decision.”

Last Monday, the European Union imposed sanctions on more than 30 Iranian officials and organizations for what it claimed to be a “brutal” crackdown on and “repression” of recent protests, which were triggered by the death of a young Iranian woman in Tehran last September. The United States and Britain also issued new sanctions against Iran on the same day.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament passed an amendment calling on the EU and its member states to include the IRGC on their terror list. It also passed another resolution 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.

The move by the European Parliament has thus far been strongly condemned by Iranian officials, commanders, and the Armed Forces.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell clarified last week that the bloc cannot list the IRGC as a “terrorist” entity without an EU court ruling.

“We clearly stated that if the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, which is a part of the governing body of the Islamic Republic of Iran and our official military, is falsely called a terrorist, Iran’s reaction and response will be harsh,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

He said European authorities are fully aware of their vulnerabilities and, therefore, came to the conclusion that they should implement a plan B, which was to add a number of Iranian officials to their sanctions list.

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