Iran’s Regional Activities: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – in the House of Commons on 2nd March 2021.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

What recent assessment he has made of the role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran’s regional activities; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We have long condemned Iran’s regional destabilising activity, including its political, financial and military support to militant and proscribed groups including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, militias in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is, in its entirety, subject to the UK’s autonomous sanctions. On 18 February, the Foreign Secretary, alongside his E3 and US counterparts, committed in a statement to working with regional parties to address their security concerns. We continue to support the security of our partners working to end the conflict in Yemen, and strengthen institutions in Iraq and Lebanon.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

As my hon. Friend the Minister will know, it is not just activity in the middle east that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is responsible for; it is not just with Hezbollah. There have been incidents in France and other parts of Europe, and it has caused the United States to ban the Revolutionary Guard and make it a terror organisation. When will the United Kingdom do the same and designate it as a terrorist organisation?

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We keep the list of proscribed organisations under review. As my hon. Friend knows, we do not routinely comment on whether organisations or individuals are under consideration for proscription. As I say, the IRGC is, in its entirety, subject to our autonomous sanctions regime. The UK, along with our European partners, wholeheartedly condemned the bomb plots in 2018 and 2019, including the one in Paris to which my hon. Friend referred.