Security minister refuses to confirm government actions against Iran Revolutionary Guards


Campaigners say Britain’s reluctance to ban the IRGC may be due to its state status

Britain’s security minister declined to say specifically whether Iran’s military branch would be banned after growing concerns over the regime’s activities in Britain.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, Tom Tugendhat declined to directly answer questions from several MPs about whether Britain would outlaw the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

But Tugendhat said the government was taking the danger posed by the IRGC “seriously” and said the UK’s response to the “vile” threat from Iran had increased in recent months. .

His comments came on the heels of reports that one of the main British outposts in Iran had promoted the collapse of Western democracy and the sheikh calling for the “compassionate” killing of homosexuals.

The Times of London An analysis of speakers at the Islamic Center of England found that some held offensive and inflammatory views about Zionism, the LGBT movement and the 9/11 attacks.

The center, which is registered as a British charity, encourages speakers to call for the eradication of ‘academic jihad’ in schools and the West’s ’empire,’ death being a ‘compassionate’ sentence for gays. promoted a speaker who said, newspaper.

It is run by direct representatives of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and is one of many organizations across the UK that apparently have ties to the regime, the newspaper said.

Epoch Times photo
Demonstrators protest against the Iranian government following the death of Masa Amini in Trafalgar Square, London, January 8, 2023. (Aaron Chown/PA Media)

“Despicable Threat”

the center is Investigated by the Charity Commission About serious concerns about its governance.

Some of the controversial activities organized by the center include the mass vigil of IRGC leader Qassem Soleimani, who was one of Iran’s most senior military commanders before he was killed in a US drone strike. included.

Referring to a Times of London report on the Islamic Center, Labor MP Christian Wakeford asked the Security Minister if it was time to ban the IRGC.

Tugendhat replied that the government’s efforts “to combat the Iranian threat in the UK have not diminished – in fact they have increased in recent months”.

He said the Islamic Center in England “is not alone” and that “the IRGC’s work is not limited to Iran’s proxy organizations”.

Tugendhat added that the government is putting together “resources and attitudes” to deploy against a “vile threat” from Iran.

Responding to a similar question about the IRGC ban from Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, the security minister again declined to confirm the government’s intentions to do so.

Kearns said:

“The government knows that this House wants to ban the IRGC, but for the time being, can you protect us from cross-border oppression by closing these cutouts of the Iranian state? ?”

Tugendhat replied that the government “has been working on this for several months”, but that “calling for action means legally we have to comply”. said.

“That’s where we’re trying to get to. We’re increasingly taking more action against the IRGC,” he said.

Epoch Times photo
Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, speaks during a debate on the Procurement Bill in Parliament in London on 9 January 2023. (Screenshot via Epoch Times)

“Different Beast”

When asked again about the government’s actions against Iranian military groups, Tugenthat told Democratic Unionist Rep. Jim Shannon that he could not speak in detail about “individual prohibitions.”

Referring to the start of Ramadan on Thursday, the minister added:

Catherine Perez Shaqdam, a fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, said the UK government’s reluctance to ban the IRGC may be due to its state status.

Speaking to the Epoch Times on Tuesday, she said: [the UK government] would go too far [the mark].

“For example, on the basis that when the UK banned Hamas and Hezbollah, they were militias, not state actors, and were behaving like terrorist organizations, they were terrorist organizations, and therefore the UK had It had jurisdiction and the ability to ban very safely.

“I think the IRGC is a bit of a different beast.”

Perez-Shakdam said the IRGC may “disguise” itself as a legitimate agency, but that’s nothing.

“They may want to describe themselves as a legitimate institution, but claiming it doesn’t do it,” she told the Epoch Times.

She claimed it was a nation-state, but said the ISIS terrorist group, which has been internationally designated a terrorist organization, was “a perfect example of that.”

She said that when Iran’s Islamic regime was established in 1979, “we all lied, including the Iranians, so nobody knew what was going to happen to them or what was on the agenda. .

“They essentially lied. What they were promised in terms of protecting their rights, human rights and civil liberties was never actually delivered.”

The research fellow said Britain could have banned the IRGC “very safely” on the basis that Iran “violated everything”.

“It’s a discussion that hasn’t been done yet, but I feel it may be the only discussion we have left.

In January, Foreign Minister James Cleverley said more than 300 individuals and groups were being sanctioned by Britain over Iran’s violent suppression of protesters.

In February, the British parliament heard that armed groups linked to the Iranian regime were behind at least 10 kidnapping and murder plots in Britain.

The Epoch Times previously spoke to a number of Anglo-Iranians who said they were worried about their safety in Britain after speaking out against the Iranian government.