PARIS — Members of the European Parliament voted on Wednesday in favor of a measure that calls on the European Union leadership to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.
The vote was 598 in favor, nine against and 31 absentees.
The vote came as part of a larger debate on the annual foreign and security policy report at the Parliament's seat in Strasbourg, France. On Thursday, the European Parliament is expected to adopt a resolution solely on Iran, which will include again a call to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group.
Parliamentarian Hannah Neumann, one of the main sponsors of resolutions against Iran and the IRGC, applauded Wednesday's decision.
“As long as Revolutionary Guards terrorize their own people and the entire region, we should treat them as terrorists and put them on the sanctions list.”
In a statement, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen welcomed the decision. "Iran is a terrorist state that exports terrorism to the Middle East, to Europe and to the whole world. The inclusion of the Revolutionary Guards, the largest terrorist organization in the world, on the list of terrorist organizations of the European Union will be an important step in the fight against the Iranian regime,’’ he stated.
Israeli diplomats expressed satisfaction over the amendment adopted today and the larger resolution expected tomorrow, noting that more and more European governments are adopting a similar position to that of Israel.
Thursday's vote is also expected to be adopted by a large majority. It will refer to the many breaches of human rights perpetrated in the last year by the Tehran regime, including the killing of hundreds of peaceful protesters, the arrest of more than 20,000 demonstrators and the execution of protesters. In addition, it will condemn the detention of several European nationals and call for the blacklisting of the IRGC.
The draft resolution will call on the European leadership to expand individual sanctions (travel bans and freezing of assets) on all Iranian leadership — including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Ebrahim Raisi, Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri and all members of the Iranian parliament — for encouraging the execution of protesters.