(Photo credit: AP)
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on 20 February that there are “no legal grounds” to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.
“As of now, we don’t have legal grounds in the EU to list the [IRGC] as a terrorist organization,” she said following a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
Baerbock ‘s comments come just a month after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that blacklisting the IRGC could not happen until the designation had first gone through a legal process.
“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,” Borrell said.
In January, the European Parliament adopted an amendment calling EU member states to include the IRGC on their terror list over alleged human rights violations.
The EU and the US have also imposed numerous new sanctions on Tehran in response to the government’s crackdown on violent riots and drone sales to Russia.
Dozens of people and security personnel were killed during street protests and violent riots that gripped Iran last year. Thousands of protesters were detained by security forces, with several being sentenced to death for their role in the violence.
Iran’s intelligence agencies say western spy agencies had a hand in fueling the unrest by funneling weapons into Iran from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR).
The unrest was sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who was detained in September for the alleged improper use of the hijab.
Amini fainted at a crowded police station in Tehran following her detention and was pronounced dead three days later at the hospital. Her autopsy report showed she died from multiple organ failure (MOF) caused by severe cerebral hypoxia.
The forensic report – based on her medical history, a CT scan of her brain and lungs, examination of the corpse, pathology, and necropsy – concluded that: “Due to the ineffective cardio-respiratory resuscitation in the first critical minutes, she suffered severe hypoxia and as a result brain damage.”