Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana’ani strongly censured the Swedish Parliament’s decision to designate the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps as a “terrorist organization” as illegal and in contrast to the international laws, and further cautioned Stockholm not to be trapped in third party plots for straining relations between the two countries.
Kana’ani made the remarks on Thursday after the Swedish Parliament voted in favor of labling the IRGC as a “terrorist entity”.
“The Swedish parliament’s illegal act is influenced by terrorist and banished elements working against the Iranian nation. The anti-Iranian move is contrary to accepted rules and principles of international law, including the equality of [national] sovereignties and non-interference in the internal affairs of governments, and tantamount to an aggression against Iran’s sovereignty and national security,” the senior diplomat said.
He stated that the IRGC is a state institution that has emerged from the Iranian nation with an official and legal identity enshrined in the Constitution, noting that the elite military force, along with other units of the Armed Forces, has been protecting Iran’s national security and borders.
For more than a decade now, the IRGC has played a decisive role in the fight against international Takfiri and Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) terrorism as well as a historic role in protecting regional and international and regional peace and security, the top official asserted.
Iranian officials have numerously admired the IRGC for playing a forefront role in combating terror groups in West Asia, and stressed that the regional countries enjoy safety because of the IRGC’s efforts in the anti-terror fight.
Kana’ani also advised the Swedish government to exercise “foresight and tact” in the face of plots hatched to damage Tehran-Stockholm relations.
The Swedish government, the spokesperson added, should “think about the consequences of its unmeasured act and not sacrifice its national interests and long-standing ties with Iran for the interests of terrorists, the Zionist apartheid regime and the enemies of the Iranian nation”.
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 has repeatedly announced that 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 have warned the EU that its 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 states 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.