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Press Release – why the IRGC must be placed on the EU terrorist list

Press Release – why the IRGC must be placed on the EU terrorist list


In recent years, European intelligence agencies have observed a growing and troubling presence of operatives from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) operatives within the European Union. These operatives primarily target dissidents of the Teheran regime as well as pro-Israel and pro-Jewish entities. The IRGC has a well-documented record of employing political assassination and intimidation tactics on EU soil.  

thinc. has today published its White Paper on the legal conditions for inclusion of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in the European Union terror list.

The legal conditions for including organizations in the EU terror list are set out in Common Position 2001/931 and Regulation (EC) No. 2580/2001, which are to be interpreted and applied in accordance with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Our extensive study concludes that these conditions have been met, and that the EU Council has a political and legal obligation to designate the IRCG as a whole as a terrorist organization, following the precedent set by the United States in 2019, and more recently Canada in 2024.

When the conditions set out in the Common Position are satisfied in relation to a person, entity or group, the Council not only is entitled to include and maintain such person, entity or group on the terror list, it has a legal responsibility to do so.

The Common Position and Regulation were adopted to implement the obligations of the EU member states pursuant to UNSC Resolution 1373/2001, a binding (Chapter VII) resolution that was passed in the wake of the S11 terrorists attacks in the United States. This resolution requires UN member states, inter alia, “to work together urgently to prevent and suppress terrorist acts, including through increased cooperation”, and to “take the necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist acts, including by provision of early warning to other States by exchange of information”. 

Global terrorism is an integral element of Iran’s foreign policy. This global terrorism agenda is planned and carried out primarily by the IRGC. The IRGC’s terrorist capabilities and activities have increased over time. The IRGC is either responsible for or involved in all terrorism-related activities of the Iranian regime outside Iran. Many of the IRGC terrorist attacks and plots are perpetrated on EU soil.

Iran’s constitution states that the IRGC’s mission is to pursue the Islamic Revolution ideologically, beyond the borders of Iran, referring to the burden of the ideological mission, i.e., Jihad in the way of God and struggle in the way of expansion of the sovereignty of God’s law in the world. The IRGC hierarchy enjoys absolute discretion in deciding objectives and policies, with no limits other than those imposed by the Supreme Leader of the Republic. This lack of accountability has led some to describe the IRGC as a “parallel state” or “deep state”. This absence of constitutional restraints increases the risks that the IRGC’s actions may violate human rights or international law.

Undoubtedly, the IRGC is destabilizing the Middle East and, by corollary, the world. IRGC operates through its proxies such as Hezbollah. It is well-documented that the IRGC consistently provided funds and assistance to Hamas with knowledge that these resources would fuel terror and violence against Israel.

These circumstances have reignited the debate in Europe about the urgent need to designate the IRGC as a whole as a terrorist organization for the sake of the security of EU citizens and residents.

On 24th April 2024, the EU Parliament reiterated “its long-standing call for the Council and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to add the IRGC to the EU list of terrorist organisations and stresses that this decision is long overdue.”

Under the Common Position, either the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy or member states may initiate a proposal for designation of a terrorist organization. The High Representative is in our view in a better position to initiate the proposal, as the IRGC designation is likely to be based on decisions by competent authorities from third countries and coordination with them will be required. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: [email protected]

Download the IRGC Executive summary here

Download the white paper, the full legal report including executive summary here

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