TEHRAN— Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on Saturday warned the European Union against making a “mistake” by listing it as a terror group, after the bloc’s parliament called for the measure.
Members of the European Parliament voted on Wednesday to include the IRGC on the 27-nation bloc’s terror list. The vote is non-binding but comes with EU foreign ministers already due to discuss tightening sanctions on the Islamic Republic next week.
“If the Europeans make a mistake, they must accept the consequences,” IRGC chief Major General Hussein Salami said, according to the Sepah News website, in his first remarks on the EU move.
The European Union “thinks that with such statements it can shake this huge army,” Salami said.
“We are never worried about such threats or even acting on them, because as much as our enemies give us a chance to act, we act stronger,” he added.
The United States has already placed both the IRGC and its foreign arm, the Quds Force, on its list of “foreign terrorist organizations.”
Gen. Salami Praising sacrifices made by the IRGC, particularly the Quds Force and its late commander General Qassem Soleimani, saying the top anti-terror icon “played the biggest and most leading role in eliminating worldwide terrorism”.
“As for the IRGC’s endeavors, especially the Quds Force and the leadership of Martyr Soleimani, the volcano of terrorism created by the Americans would have engulfed the Europeans and the security that prevails in Europe today would have been destroyed,” the IRGC chief said.
“The fire was reaching the edge of Europe and had it not been contained, it would have covered all the geographical spheres of Europe. But the Europeans and Americans are accustomed to replacing the executioner with the martyr, and the oppressor with the oppressed,” he added.
Gen. Salami said Europe has not learned lessons from its past mistakes and thinks that it can undermine the glorious IRGC, which is empowered by faith, trust, strength and determination, with disparaging labels.
The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted an amendment which was added to an annual foreign policy report, calling on the EU and its member states to include the IRGC on their terror list. The parliament also passed another
resolution on Thursday, calling for more sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities and putting the IRGC on the EU terrorist list over their response to the recent riots.
Iran’s intelligence bodies have found footprints of American and other Western spy agencies in the riots which claimed the lives of dozens of people and security forces.
The move by the European Parliament has been strongly condemned by Iranian officials, commanders, and the armed forces.
The Iranian parliament passed a law in April 2019 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 U.S. blacklisting of the IRGC.
Gen. Salami’s comments on Saturday came as he received Iran’s parliament speaker Muhammad Baqer Qalibaf, a former commander of the IRGC’s air force.
“We in the parliament are ready to deal firmly with any action that tries to harm the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and distort the truth,” Qalibaf was quoted as saying by Sepah News.
Qalibaf said, “The enemies do not have a precise understanding of our nation and the IRGC, and specifically they have no knowledge and analysis regarding the relationship between the nation and the IRGC.”
The enemies, he said, think that the IRGC is only a military force just like their own military forces, but the fact is that the IRGC and Basij forces come from within the Iranian nation.
The top Iranian parliamentarian urged the Europeans to correct their miscalculation vis-à-vis the IRGC.
Qalibaf said the West has supported and equipped the Daesh terrorist group, but it was the IRGC that fought terrorism and ended the presence of Daesh terrorists in the region.
He said the European countries are now supporting the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) which has murdered some 17,000 innocent Iranians.
The Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy on Saturday held an extraordinary session to discuss a plan to retaliate against the European Parliament’s bid to label the IRGC.
Representatives from Iran’s Foreign Ministry, the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Intelligence Ministry and the Parliament’s research center attended the session.