Iran has warned the European Union that there will be repercussions if the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is designated as a terrorist organization, as has been proposed. On Sunday, the Iranian foreign minister, Hussein Amirabdollahian, took to Twitter to say that the European Parliament had “shot itself in the foot” and that the country’s response would be a “countermeasure.” According to reports, the parliament is currently working on a draft as a response to the decision made by the EU. It is not clear what the specific countermeasures will be. However, there has been some discussion about the possibility of seizing foreign oil tankers in the Persian Gulf or even in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the most important shipping routes in the world.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is Iran’s most elite military force. Its primary mission is to protect the state ideology and foil any attempts at a military coup. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has also developed into an economic power in recent decades. Nonetheless, the unit has been criticized due to its involvement in suppressing the most recent wave of protests. As a result, there is a growing movement in Iran and among politicians in European countries to have the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) labeled as a terrorist organization. In addition, the European Union has already imposed sanctions on many high-ranking officers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in response to the numerous human rights violations that have occurred since the beginning of the protests in September.
On Thursday, Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs vehemently condemned the decision. Mohsen Resaei, the current Vice President of Iran and a former head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), referred to members of the European Parliament as “political dwarves” who would come to regret their choice. On Sunday, the state newspaper issued a call for immediately severing diplomatic and economic ties with all European nations that back the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) designation as a terrorist organization.
According to diplomats, the foreign ministers of the EU will be holding a meeting on Monday in which they will formally approve new sanctions against Iran.