Despite the fact that the United States took similar actions during the Trump administration, diplomats from the outgoing Biden administration are attempting to thwart a United Kingdom initiative that would see Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) labeled as a terror group.
According to a new report from The Telegraph, the United States Department of State is concerned that identifying the IRGC as a terror group could weaken the United Kingdom’s ability to play a major role as interlocutors in reviving the failed Iran Nuclear Deal.
Taking such a step would stiffen the United Kingdom’s stance against Iran and deliver a blow to international efforts backed by the Obama administration to revive the 2015 deal, from which the United States withdrew under President Trump.
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If the IRGC were designated a terrorist organization, participation in the group, attendance at meetings, and advocacy for the organisation’s activities would all be illegal. A criminal offense would be instituted for even publicly flying the organization’s flag or bearing the organization’s logo. It’s a serious legal procedure following the Terrorism Act of 2000 in the United Kingdom.
Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Irish Republican Army are just few of the prominent terrorist groups that are banned in the United Kingdom. The threat to U.K. citizens is considered alongside the group’s global terrorist actions.
The head of the British intelligence agency MI5, Ken McCallum, made a rare public appearance in November of last year, where he said that the unrest in Iran has tangible effects in the United Kingdom.
The Iranian government poses a direct threat to the United Kingdom through its hostile intelligence agencies. According to McCallum, “at its most extreme, this involves plans to kidnap or even assassinate British or U.K.-based individuals seen as adversaries of the regime.” Since January [of 2022], we have identified at least ten such possible threats.
The Home Office considered banning the IRGC, but now several branches of the British government are using U.S. assistance to undo the ban. The Foreign Office and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly have both raised concerns over the plan, with the latter citing the IRGC’s prominence in Iranian politics.
The discovery that the Foreign and Home Offices are at odds explains why a decision hasn’t been made as of yet, which had been anticipated for January. Ultimately, the decision must be made by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
The Heritage Foundation’s Nile Gardiner, head of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, criticized the report’s implications. Very shameful. Gardiner criticized the Biden administration for “bowing down” to the terrorist regime in Tehran.