EU: Cannot label IRGC as terror group before court ruling

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Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (L), speaks during a joint press conference, in Rabat, Morocco.
AFPJosep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (L), speaks during a joint press conference, in Rabat, Morocco.

'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'

The European Union's foreign policy chief on Monday said that the EU could not list Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist entity until a court determined that they are. 

EU foreign ministers are set to add 37 names to the list of people and entities subject to sanctions over human rights violations in Iran, two European diplomats told Reuters last week. 

The European Parliament then called on the EU to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity. It blames the group for the repression of domestic protests, as well as the supply of drones to Russia, Reuters reported. 

IRANIAN ARMY OFFICE / AFP
IRANIAN ARMY OFFICE / AFPThe Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) taking part in a drill in the northern Indian Ocean.

"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," Josep Borrell told reporters as he arrived for the meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels. He also added that the court of an EU member had to issue a concrete legal condemnation before the EU itself could act.

Members of the European Parliament voted on Wednesday to include the Guards on the 27-nation bloc's terrorism list in "light of its terrorist activity, the repression of protesters, and its supplying of drones to Russia." The vote is non-binding but comes with EU foreign ministers already due to discuss tightening sanctions on Iran next week.

Then, on Sunday, Iran said it would take "reciprocal" measures after the European Parliament voted to blacklist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.

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