LONDON: UK Foreign Office Minister Leo Docherty told parliament on Thursday that Britain is actively considering formally declaring that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is a terrorist organization, but that no final decision has been made.
“It would be wrong of me to speculate... about the outcome of the government’s current consideration of this issue, which is active,” Docherty said during a debate on the situation in Iran, during which some lawmakers had called for proscription.
“But I can say that I think the calls right across the house, and the unity with which these calls are being made on all sides, will be noted by the government, and this is something that we regard as extremely serious.”
Proscribing Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group would mean that it would become a criminal offense in Britain to belong to the group, attend its meetings, and carry its logo in public.
Iranian-Irish national Amir Seifi, a supporter of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, was among those who demonstrated outside the UK parliament on Thursday.
Seifi told Arab News: “It is important to show them that the Iranian people support what they are doing and that they are also standing in solidarity with people in Iran.”
The 42-year-old said that the IRGC, from both an economic and military point of view, is the main force of the regime and its violence against protesters, and that imposing sanctions on it would effectively “cripple” the system.
“This is a regime that has been trying to instill fear in the hearts of the protesters and the Iranian people,” Seifi said.
He added that the organization is aware of the growing international threat against it, making it more difficult for it to violently suppress protests while also gaining access to arms and equipment from the international community.
“The matter of proscribing the IRGC is something our resistance has been calling for so many years, but today the cross parties had massive support for it,” Seifi said.
He added: “There was also condemnation for the behavior of the regime against the protesters, the brutal suppression, as well as against its meddling in the affairs of other countries and export of terrorism to other countries, especially in the Middle East.
“There were calls from many MPs to shut down the embassy of the regime and expel its diplomats.
“At the end, there was a motion that was introduced that passed unanimously, which was unreservedly condemning the actions of the regime, the brutal suppression of protesters, and supporting the right of the Iranian protesters.”
The IRGC is already subject to British sanctions.