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Brushing Off ‘Terror’ Label, Iran Says ‘Volcano of Terrorism’ Would Have Engulfed EU if Not for IRGC

© AP Photo / Ebrahim NorooziIn this Sept. 21, 2016 file photo, Iran's Revolutionary Guard troops march in a military parade marking the 36th anniversary of Iraq's 1980 invasion of Iran, in front of the shrine of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran.
In this Sept. 21, 2016 file photo, Iran's Revolutionary Guard troops march in a military parade marking the 36th anniversary of Iraq's 1980 invasion of Iran, in front of the shrine of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.01.2023
European Union foreign ministers stopped short of labeling Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist entity on Monday while announcing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Last week, the European Parliament issued a resolution calling for the IRGC to be added to the bloc’s official ‘terrorist list.’
The “fire” of Daesh (ISIS)* terror would have made its way into the heart of Europe and engulfed the region in a “volcano of terrorism,” were it not for Iran’s IRGC troops, Iranian officials, diplomats, and lawmakers have said, responding to European lawmakers’ failed push to add the elite fighting force to its list of designated terrorist entities.
Europe owes its security to the IRGC’s anti-terror campaign in Iraq and Syria, and any sanctions against the IRGC would constitute “a clear violation of the United Nations Charter,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani told reporters on Monday.
Dismissing the European Parliament’s resolution passed last Wednesday asking bloc members to designate the IRGC as “irresponsible and illogical,” Kanani stressed that Brussels had been “given necessary warnings” on the implications of such a move, promising “appropriate” measures in response to any “reckless” decisions on the part of the EU.
EU foreign ministers failed to move forward with the terror designation on Monday, with the bloc’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, saying such a decision would require a court ruling. “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.
The EU instead agreed to a fresh round of sanctions against Tehran, targeting Iranian officials it said were responsible for the “repression” of foreign-backed protests across the country which began in September, and caused the deaths of scores of people, including both protesters and security forces. The new restrictions target 18 individuals and 19 entities, including high-ranking members of the IRGC, political and media figures, and government and parliament officials.
The US also slapped new sanctions against Iran on Monday, targeting the IRGC’s Cooperative Foundation (a charitable trust), and officials including the deputy minister of intelligence and four IRGC commanders on “human rights” grounds.
The Treasury Building is viewed in Washington, May 4, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.01.2023
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Iranian lawmakers and military officials lashed out at the EU over attempts to link the IRGC to terrorism.
Lawmaker Gholamreza Shariati told Iranian media that the IRGC was the guarantor of security not just for Iran but for the entire world, and that had it not been for the elite force risking their lives in Iraq and Syria, Daesh “would have been in central Europe today.” The politician suggested that the EP had “become a puppet of terrorist groups such as the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), and has become deluded by them.” The MKO is a US and Israeli-sponsored paramilitary group waging low-intensity warfare against Iran since the early 1980s, and is responsible for a string of terrorist attacks which has killed thousands of Iranian security forces personnel, government officials and civilians.

IRGC Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami echoed Gholamreza Shariati commented on his sentiments Satuday, saying that “but for the IRGC’s endeavors, especially the Quds Force and the leadership of Martyr Soleimani, the volcano of terrorism created by the Americans would have engulfed the Europeans and the security that prevails in Europe today would have been destroyed.” Qasem Soleimani is the IRGC Quds Force commander slain in an unprovoked US drone strike in Baghdad in January 2020.

“The fire [of terrorism] was reaching the edge of Europe and had it not been contained, it would have covered” the whole region,” Salami added.
Iranian parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf warned Sunday that Iran would take “retaliatory, swift and decisive action” if the EU moved ahead with measures to blacklist the IRGC, including the possible designation of European armies as terrorist entities.
Iran’s parliament already took similar measures in January 2020, when it designated the entire US military as terrorists following the strike that killed Soleimani.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran would consider walking out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, expelling International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and other radical measures if Brussels took the “visceral decision” to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity.
Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.01.2023
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The IRGC played an instrumental role in saving the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad from the Western and Gulf-backed dirty war against Syria from 2012 onward, and helped to organize and coordinate Iraqi militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces formed to fight Daesh between 2014 and 2017.
Iran has jealously guarded the IRGC’s reputation abroad from attacks by the US and its allies. Last year, months of talks between Iranian and US negotiators on the possible renewal of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement on Iran’s peaceful nuclear program ground to a halt after President Joe Biden announced that he would be ready to “kill” the nuclear deal to keep the IRGC on the US’s terror blacklist.
In this image made from April 17, 2021, video released by the Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting, IRIB, state-run TV, various centrifuge machines line the hall damaged on Sunday, April 11, 2021, at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.01.2023
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* A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
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