The European Parliament Thursday called upon the European Council to add the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other Iranian officials to the EU terrorist list. Members of Parliament (MEPs) said, “Any country in which the IRGC deploys military, economic, or informational operations should sever and outlaw ties with this agency.” The actions came in response to what the European Parliament called the “rapidly deteriorating human rights situation” in Iran as nationwide protests over the death of Mahsa Amini continue.The European Parliament first received the motion, including over 30 action items, on Monday. The motion to call for IRGC to be added to the EU’s terrorist list passed Wednesday in a vote of 598-9 in favor, with 31 abstentions. The vote itself does not place the IRGC on the terrorist list; to do so requires action from the European Council and Member States. If the IRGC were to be added to the EU terrorist list, MEPs called for the council “to ban any economic and financial activity involving businesses and commercial activities related to, owned, wholly or in part, by, or fronting for, the IRGC or IRGC-affiliated individuals.”In the same motion, MEPs called for the EU to expand their current list of sanctions to include “all individuals and entities responsible for human rights violations and their family members” and “close any existing loopholes in sanction enforcement to ensure “strict implementation.”The motion repeatedly condemned the actions of Iranian authorities. Standing in solidarity with the Mahsa Amini protestors, MEPs condemned Iranian authorities’ prosecution, trial, execution and treatment of protestors. The motion read in part:[European Parliament d]emands…an immediate end to the execution of protesters and violent crackdown against protests, and the unconditional release of all those arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. [The European Parliament also urges its partners to] continue holding the Iranian regime accountable for the killing of its own people and grave human rights violations.The motion will now be forwarded to the European Council, the European Commission, Member States and Iranian authorities. The council must vote to implement the actions MEPs called for. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she supported the motion.The nationwide protests in Iran first began when Mahsa Amini died in the custody of Iranian authorities after being arrested on September 14, 2022 for improper hijab. Since then, Iranian authorities have cracked down on the protests by limiting internet access, arresting journalists covering the protests, and torturing and executing protestors despite international bodies’ repeated condemnations.
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