US encourages EU, UK terror designation of IRGC: State Department

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The US supports the recent consideration of the European Union and the United Kingdom to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization amid ramped-up pressure to further isolate the Iranian regime.

While the IRGC is designated as a foreign terrorist organization and a specially designated global terrorist by the US, European countries have been hesitant to follow suit.

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But in recent months, as Tehran cracked down on protestors and stalled talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, attitudes appear to be changing in European capitals.

Iran has also detained several European citizens and even executed a dual Iranian-British citizen, who Tehran accused of being a foreign spy.

On Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen voiced her support for designating the IRGC as a terror group. Doing so would make it illegal to belong to the group or hoist its flag in public.

British media reports have suggested that London is seriously considering the move.

The State Department said it is encouraging its allies to consider the designation.

“Certainly, we encourage our allies and partners to consider any applicable sanctions authorities, including whether the IRGC should be designated as a terrorist organization under their laws,” a State Department official told Al Arabiya English. “As you know, the IRGC remains designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).”

The Biden administration reportedly considered dropping the IRGC from its blacklist last year as it became adamant about reaching a nuclear deal with Iran. However, bipartisan opposition to the agreement within the US Congress and reported Pentagon frustration put this on hold.

In an interview with the outgoing Israeli army chief last week, he said the Pentagon was against revoking IRGC’s designation. Biden ultimately chose not to move ahead with this demand, which was reportedly a demand of the Iranian negotiating team.

Read more: CENTCOM chief pays tribute to US-UAE military ties, condemns Iran-backed groups

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