A statement on Labeling the IRGC as a Terrorist Group
In a statement released on the 8th of April, 2019, president Donald Trump announced the U.S. government’s decision of designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group and that the details of new sanctions against this terrorist organization will be made public in due course.
Even though the IRGC should have been designated as a terrorist group forty years ago, the recent decision made by the United States is a welcome step from the point of view of Iran’s oppressed nations and in particular the Kurdish people, whom have suffered the most from the IRGC’s terrorist acts. There is no doubt that the IRGC is a terrorist group which interferes in almost all of the countries in the Middle East. Hence, designating the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the United States is warranted.
The IRGC has committed terrorist acts against Iran’s different nations and especially the Kurdish nation within the country and abroad. The IRGC also used ballistic missiles against the headquarters of Kurdish political parties’ and adjacent refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan in the previous year. The European Union should join the United States and designate the IRGC as a terrorist group. Considering the fact that a significant number of the IRGC’s terrorist operations have been carried out on European soil, which constitute a clear violation of the European countries sovereignty, a designation of this group by the European Union is imperative.
The assassinations of Gholam Keshawarz on the shores of Cyprus, Sedigh Kamangar in Iraqi Kurdistan and Dr. Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou in Vienna is testament to the terrorist nature of the IRGC. In the case of the assassination of the Dr. Sadegh Sharafkandi and his aides in Berlin, the German judiciary brought the perpetrators of that terrorist act to justice and held the top leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its intelligence service responsible for the crime. Unfortunately, the only reaction of the European countries at the time to the German court’s conviction was limited to calling their ambassadors back from Tehran for a short period of time.
Not only is the IRGC a terrorist group, but it is currently a force that has a grip on all the important economic, political and military levers of power in the Islamist Republic of Iran. Through its Quds Force, the IRGC conducts terrorist operations outside the borders of Iran. The IRGC uses terrorism as a strategy in order to ensure the survival of the Islamic Republic as well as to facilitate the further expansion of the Islamist regime and sectarian ideology in the Middle East. The IRGC has accomplished the Islamic Republic’s mission to export the “Islamic revolution” to other countries. By founding more than ten terrorist organizations under different names, the IRGC has interfered in the internal affairs of other countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, etc. The IRGC has in the past years tried to establish a sectarian sphere of influence in the Middle East, which is one of the Islamic Republic’s expansionist objectives, by committing terrorist acts and financing terrorism. It is financially and logistically supporting 15 extremist militia groups in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Therefore, the new sanctions against the IRGC should aim to weaken its financial power, through which the Islamic Republic manages to hold on to power.
The penetration of the IRGC of Middle Eastern countries where U.S. forces are based increases the likelihood of a military conflict. If such a conflict were to take place, the Islamic Republic and the IRGC should be hold responsible for it. The decision by the European Union to prolonging sanctions on Iran over human rights violations, which coincided with the designation of the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S., reveals that the European Union, in spite of its continued commitment to the nuclear deal, cannot remain silent in view of the Iranian regime’s terrorism and destabilizing policies. This is especially the case considering Europe’s common stance against Iran’s foiled terrorist plots and assassination attempts in the past two years in France and Denmark; as well as in view of the request for a UN report regarding Iran’s missile program – which is in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 – by Britain, Germany and France in early April of this year.
The decision to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group is a consequence of the inhuman policies of the Iranian regime in Iran and the Middle East. The Kurdish nation in the Iranian Kurdistan is one of the victims of Islamic Republic’s oppressive policies and the terrorist acts of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. It is obvious that the Middle East will not achieve stability and peace, nor will terrorism be eradicated, so long as the Islamist regime in Iran remains in power.
The Cooperation Center of Iranian Kurdistan’s Political Parties
The 9th of April, 2019