Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana’ani dismissed the UK claims over the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) security threats to London, and praised the IRGC’s key role in combating terrorist groups in West Asia.
Speaking to reporters at a weekly press conference on Monday, Kana’ani chided British Home Secretary Suella Braverman for leveling accusations against the IRGC, questioning London’s competence for making such baseless allegations against the anti-terror force.
“The UK is not in a position to make accusations against the IRGC with its dark history in West Asia, which has caused deep instability in the region, as well as its role in covert and overt support of terrorism,” the spokesperson stressed.
The remarks came after a source close to Braverman alleged that the threat from the IRGC was now the biggest security risk facing Britain.
Kana’ani hailed the “decisive role” of the IRGC in fighting the Western-backed Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) terrorist group and ensuring national and regional security.
“The IRGC has provided many services not only to the regional countries but also to the European states,” he added.
“No one can ignore the decisive and important role played by the IRGC in the course of the continuous and serious fight against terrorism, especially Daesh. Britain cannot also lay baseless charges against the IRGC. We will not accept this issue from any side,” the top diplomat continued.
In a non-binding resolution in January, the European Parliament called for the IRGC to be put on the European Union’s “terrorist” list and insisted that sanctions targeting Tehran had to be expanded. The EU has not acted on the decision, arguing that the bloc lacks the necessary legal basis for such designation. However, it has imposed sanctions against a number of Iranian officials and entities for what it claims to be a crackdown on the recent foreign-backed unrest, which were triggered after the death of Mahsa Amini in Tehran in September.
The move has been strongly condemned by Iranian officials, commanders and the Armed Forces. Tehran has warned that the EU would shoot itself in the foot by listing the IRGC as a foreign terrorist entity and the hostile move will harm Europe.
Tehran says the IRGC is an official state body which has had and will continue to have an important and key role in ensuring the security of Iran and the region. Iranian officials say the IRGC is the country’s security protector and is regarded a red line for Tehran.
Iranian officials have warned certain European states that their plan to blacklist the IRGC as a “terrorist organization” may have unbearable consequences, urging Europe to avoid repeating the past mistakes.
They cautioned the European governments against falling into the trap of a plot hatched by the US and Israel, calling on the EU to maintain its independence from the US.
Tehran stresses the European countries enjoy safety because of the elite forces’ efforts in the fight against terror groups in the region.
In April 2019, the Iranian parliament passed a law 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.