Zionist Federation calls for Iranian Revolutionary Guard proscription

Iranian Revolutionary Guards (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Iranian Revolutionary Guards (Photo: AFP/Getty)

The Zionist Federation has urged the British government and European Union to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation.

In a campaign launched this week, the ZF claimed the IRG was responsible for arms transfers to terrorist groups, had worked with al-Qaeda, backed Syrian President Bashar Assad, and had masterminded attacks against British citizens abroad.

ZF chairman Paul Charney said: “The EU and the UK must take practical steps to deal with international terrorism. By proscribing the IRG, they would be showing a commitment to fighting terrorism and protecting the security of EU citizens.”

A ZF petition calling for greater action had reached 50 signatures within the first 24 hours of being set up.

The IRG is an elite military unit charged with upholding the country's Islamic rule. It reports directly to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

Elements of the IRG are already designated under proliferation sanctions by the United Nations and EU, and are also listed as part of the EU sanctions against Syria. The IRG’s Quds Force paramilitary arm is subject to a global asset freeze and travel ban.

Five of its leading members, including commander Major General Qasem Soleimani, have been proscribed in Britain and across Europe for involvement in terrorist activities. But the IRG is not proscribed as an organisation in Britain or designated as a terrorist group by the EU.

A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton said “concrete measures” had already been taken, but did not comment further on the ZF campaign or prospect of full proscription.

Last updated: 9:20am, May 2 2013