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EU considering listing Iran's Revolutionary Guards as terrorist group

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The European Union is considering adding Iran's Revolutionary Guards to the list of terrorist organizations, German Foreign Minister Annalina Baerbock said on Sunday.

Last week, Germany announced that it would impose tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran outside of the EU sanctions package.

In an interview Sunday with the German public broadcaster ARD, Baerbock said, "We are also examining how we can list the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization."

Baerbock's comments came a day after Hossein Salami, the head of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards, warned protesters that Saturday would be their last day of taking to the streets, signaling that security forces might intensify their crackdown on nationwide protests.

The Revolutionary Guards are a part of Iran's military charged with internal security.

Iran has been gripped by protests since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police last month, posing one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution, the Voice of America said.

Tellingly, The U.S. State Department designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization in April, 2019.

In May last, President Joe Biden decided to keep Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on a terrorist blacklist, according to a senior Western official, further complicating international efforts to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, according to the Politico.

Another person familiar with the matter said Biden conveyed his decision during an April 24 phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, adding that the decision was conveyed as absolutely final and that the window for Iranian concessions had closed.

The United States placed the IRGC on its "Foreign Terrorist Organizations" list in 2019. The designation was part of the "maximum pressure" campaign then-President Donald Trump imposed on Iran after pulling the United States out of the nuclear deal, which had restricted Iran's nuclear activity in exchange for sanctions relief, the Politico said.

Iranian officials want the United States to lift the terror label before Tehran returns to compliance with the nuclear deal. But the United States has refused to do so, unless Iran offers some security-related concessions beyond the nuclear agreement, the Politico added.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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