Biden's diplomats pushing UK not to proscribe Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps

This comes as the Security Minister tells the JC that Iran is preparing a potential assassination campaign against Britain's Jews


American diplomats are reportedly pressuring the UK government to not label Iran's religious police as a terrorist group, despite the US having already done so.

The US State Department is arguing that the UK could be a key diplomatic conduit with Iran and its leadership, and proscribing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) would undermine that, The Telegraph reports.

The final decision rests with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was due to make a decision last month, but has held off due to Whitehall disagreements over the move.

The intervention by Joe Biden's diplomats comes despite the US having proscribed the group in 2019 - albeit under former president, Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat has told the JC that Iran is hiring organised criminals to spy on Britain’s Jews in preparation for a potential assassination campaign against prominent members of the community.

Proscribing the IRGC would make it a criminal offence to belong to the group, attend meetings, encourage support for it, for display its logo in public.

The IRGC is separate from Iran's armed forces - it was formed after Iran's 1979 revolution to enforce the Islamic nature of the country.

The Home Office is reportedly very much in favour of proscription, and the move is backed by Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Security Minister Tom Tugendhat, while the Foreign Office is very much opposed.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has previously responded to questions about proscription by pointing out that the IRGC is already sanctioned "in its entirety".

The Telegraph reports that one of the key Foreign Office's objections is that proscription is normally used for non-state actors, while the IRGC is an integral part of the Iranian state.

However, a UK government source backing the move told the paper: “These are arguments made without any real evidence in supposedly mysterious intelligence circles. The Government will do everything it can to crack down on the Iranian regime’s criminal operations here in Britain.”

A US State Department spokesman said: “It is up to each country to determine what action in regards to the IRGC is applicable under their legal authorities and in their best interests.”

READ MORE: Security minister: Criminals are tracking British Jews for Iran’s killing squads

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