Britain to designate IRGC as terrorist org

Designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization would put them on par with the US, Canada, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.   

 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. (photo 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.
(photo credit: IRGC/WANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

The UK is going to designate The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a branch of Iran’s military, as a terrorist organization, The Telegraph reported on Monday.

The UK's Terrorism Act 2000 allows the Home Secretary to proscribe an organization as a terrorist group if the organization "commits or participates in acts of terrorism," "prepares for terrorism," "promotes or encourages terrorism (including the unlawful glorification of terrorism)," or "is otherwise concerned in terrorism." 

In brief, the UK government uses "terrorism" to mean an action or threat of action that involves harm to a person, property, electronic system, section of the public or the general public. Furthermore, the threat or action must be intended to influence or intimidate a government or the public and must be motivated by "a political, religious, racial or ideological cause."

Why is this happening now?

The UK's decision to label the IRGC as a terrorist organization comes among heightened tensions between Iran and the West as Iran cracks down on anti-government protestors, including some with ties to the UK.

In response to the detainment of protestors with dual nationalities, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak's spokesperson said, "We've always said that we will never accept our nationals... being used for diplomatic leverage and we urge the government of Iran to stop its practice of unfairly detaining British and other foreign nationals."

 IRGC COMMANDER-in-Chief Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salami (left) meets with Ziyad Nakhaleh, secretary-general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in Tehran last month. (credit: IRGC/West Asia News Agency/Reuters) IRGC COMMANDER-in-Chief Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salami (left) meets with Ziyad Nakhaleh, secretary-general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in Tehran last month. (credit: IRGC/West Asia News Agency/Reuters)
A few other countries, namely the US, Canada, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, already consider the IRGC as a terrorist group. 
As relations between the Iranian regime and the West continue to worsen, more countries are considering making similar moves to officially consider the IRGC as a terror organization. Iran International reported late last month that members of Germany's parliament have also been seriously pushing to also label IRGC as such.