Israel pushes Bulgaria, Romania to designate IRGC a terror group

The ministers discussed strengthening ties against Iran together.

 FOREIGN MINISTER Eli Cohen attends a ceremony at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Monday, at which he is welcomed as the new minister. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
FOREIGN MINISTER Eli Cohen attends a ceremony at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Monday, at which he is welcomed as the new minister.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Foreign Ministry Eli Cohen pushed Romania and Bulgaria to support a European Union designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror organization.

He spoke with both his counterparts Bogdan Aurescu of Romania and Nikolai Milkov of Bulgarian on the phone on Thursday.

“In both talks, the ministers agreed on strengthening their common front against Iran,” Israel's Foreign Ministry said.

At Cohen's request the “two foreign ministers agreed to positively consider designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization in the European Union,” it added. 

New campaigns against the IRGC

The conversation came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government is engaged in a global campaign against the IRGC

 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)

To date, only the United States, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia have declared the IRGC as a terror group, despite the group’s involvement in the suppression of street protests in Iran and its support of terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron about the IRGC when he visited Paris last week, and both he and Cohen have raised it in general in their conversations with top global diplomates.

The European Parliament has called on the European Union to label the IRGC as a terror group and to sanction it.

The European Union council of foreign ministers imposed new sanctions on the IRGC last month but did not designate it as a terror group.

EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell explained that there were legal issues involved and that such a declaration must first come from a European court.