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Iran warns EU of ‘reciprocal’ response to IRGC blacklisting vote

Iran's Foreign Minister has warned the European Union of “reciprocal” measures after the European Parliament voted to add the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to the EU's terror list.

“The parliament (of Iran) is working to place elements of European countries’ armies on the terrorist list,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Twitter on Sunday.

“The European Parliament shot itself in the foot,” Iran’s top diplomat said, adding that the response would be “reciprocal.”

Amir-Abdollahian’s tweet came after the European Parliament on Wednesday adopted an amendment that was added to an annual foreign policy report and called on the EU and its member states to include the IRGC in their terror list.

The parliament also passed another resolution on Thursday, calling for more sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities and putting the IRGC on the EU terrorist list over alleged human rights violations during the recent riots.

Amir-Abdollahian and chief commander of IRGC Major General Hossein Salami attended a closed-door parliament session on Sunday morning to discuss the European Parliament’s move.

Raeisi: Hostile moves against IRGC doomed to failure

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi strongly criticized the European Parliament’s decision to brand IRGC as a “terrorist organization,” saying any hostile move against IRGC, the most important force in the fight against terrorism, is doomed to failure.

Raeisi made the remarks on Sunday as he attended a parliamentary session to review the general bill for the next Iranian calendar year 1402, which starts on March 20, 2023.

“No military and armed force have countered terrorism and purged terrorists in the [West Asia] region other than the IRGC. Both military forces and top-brass commanders in the region acknowledge that the IRGC played the leading role in the fight against terror,” the Iranian president said.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi (C) attends a parliamentary session in Tehran, Iran, on January 22, 2023 to review the directions of the budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year 1402, which starts on March 20, 2023. (Photo by President.ir)

“We have been told many times that if it were not because of the IRGC and sacrifices made by [iconic anti-terror commander] Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the status quo in some countries and the entire region would be different now,” he said.

“The efforts being made by those who want to sanction IRGC over its role in the fight against terror are futile and doomed to failure…,” Raeisi added.

‘Iran to reciprocally designate European forces as terrorist’

Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf also censured the European Parliament’s designation of the IRGC as a terrorist group, vowing that the legislature will not hesitate to adopt a quick, firm, and befitting measure to any measure against the force.

He said on Sunday that the legislature “will retaliate immediately and decisively against any action that would mean putting the Revolutionary Guards on the sanctions list or the list of terrorist groups”.

Ghalibaf, added that parliament would “recognize the armies of the European countries… as terrorist groups”.

He said the latest resolution showed that European countries, under the influence of pro-Zionist lobby groups, have made miscalculations and taken a wrong path against their national interests.

“I should make it clear that such measures, which follow long-running and extensive sanctions by the West and the United States in particular, will not have dire legal repercussions against the Iranian nation. The Zionist lobby groups are seeking to wage a media propaganda campaign to woo the Iranian people and independent countries of the world,” Qalibaf added.

The top Iranian lawmaker went on to say that Iranians consider the IRGC an integral part of their nation, which has protected their security and served people during tough times such as natural calamities and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The IRGC is the most unique anti-terror force in the world, which routed the Daesh terrorist group with the help of regional nations and despite the US support for the group. The IRGC eliminated global threats of Daesh,” Qalibaf said, emphasizing that the IRGC has made great sacrifices in its fight against terror.

He further criticized Western states, especially European ones, for supporting anti-Iran terrorist groups, above all the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO).

European countries used to incite violence during recent riots in the country. They support media terrorism against Iran, and are hosting media organizations that fuel violence in Iran, the Iranian parliament speaker said.

Qalibaf stressed that the Islamic Republic will utilize all available means to give a deterrent and reciprocal response to any move against the IRGC.

He urged Europe to free itself from the propaganda of the child-killing Israeli regime and adopt a sensible policy; otherwise, European states will be the weakest among Western countries to have set themselves against the IRGC and the Axis of Resistance and will have to fully bear the cost.

The move by the European Parliament has been strongly condemned by Iranian officials, commanders, and the Armed Forces.

This is while Iran’s intelligence bodies have found footprints of American and other Western spy agencies in recent violent riots inside Iran which claimed the lives of dozens of people and security forces.

The Iranian parliament passed a law in April 2019 designating American forces in West Asia, known as the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), as a terrorist organization. The move was made in response to the US blacklisting of the IRGC.

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