EU cannot brand IRGC as terror group before court ruling - Borrel

The European Parliament last week called on the EU to list the IRGC as a terrorist entry.

 People rally against Iranian regime during a European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs council in Brussels, Belgium January 23, 2023.  (photo credit:  REUTERS/JOHANNA GERON)
People rally against Iranian regime during a European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs council in Brussels, Belgium January 23, 2023.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JOHANNA GERON)

The European Union cannot list Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity until an EU court has determined that they are, the European Union's foreign policy chief said on Monday.

The European Parliament last week called on the EU to list the IRGC as a terrorist entry, blaming it for the repression of domestic protests and the supply of drones to Russia.

"It is something that cannot be decided without a court, a court decision first. You cannot say I consider you a terrorist because I don't like you," Josep Borrell told reporters before a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels.

He added that the court of an EU member had to issue a concrete legal condemnation before the EU itself could act.

Borrell clarified that the council would, however, discuss the imposition of individual sanctions against Iranians.

 Members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attend an IRGC ground forces military drill in the Aras area, East Azerbaijan province, Iran, October 17, 2022. (credit: IRGC/WANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) Members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attend an IRGC ground forces military drill in the Aras area, East Azerbaijan province, Iran, October 17, 2022. (credit: IRGC/WANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

"We are going to discuss new personal sanctions in accordance with the legal framework of human rights," he said.

Israel has actively campaigned for the global community to designate the IRGC as a terror entity.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said he was very concerned by the human rights situation in Iran, particularly the violence and suppression against women and protestors.

"We are concerned by Iran's delivery of weapons to support Russia against Ukraine," Haavisto said. He added that he had not given up on the possibility of reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear talks. The EU has led the negotiations for the resumption of that deal.