Iran: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – in the House of Commons at on 14 March 2023.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

What recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ role in Iran’s internal repression and activity in the region.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Foreign Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

The UK will continue to hold the Iranian regime, including the IRGC, to account for its repression. We have imposed sanctions on the individuals involved in the repression of women in Iran, and we continue to sanction the IRGC in its entirety.

Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary for his answer, but the evidence of the IRGC’s brutality in Iran, particularly towards women, is clear. The evidence of its wider malign influence in the region is clear. Likewise its links supporting Russia and its reach to Europe, including threats on these shores. How much more evidence do he and the Government need to see before they do what I have asked many times in this Chamber and proscribe the IRGC?

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Foreign Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

As I said, the IRGC is already sanctioned in its entirety. Where it is involved in illegal activity, our security forces and police take action, and I commend the action they take. We do not routinely discuss future designations and sanctions, but we will always take actions that protect the British people and British interests and that deter malign activity.

Photo of John Cryer John Cryer Labour, Leyton and Wanstead

Like Greg Smith, I have repeatedly come to this Chamber to ask about proscribing the IRGC, which is widely recognised on both sides of the House as a bunch of clerical fascists and homicidal maniacs who particularly enjoy torturing and murdering women. I suspect the Foreign Secretary agrees with us, so why does he not take the final step and proscribe the IRGC?

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Foreign Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

The actions this Government take with regard to the IRGC are to deter its malign activity within its own borders, within the region and here in the UK and to protect British citizens, including dual nationals, and British interests overseas. We will always act in accordance with those principles. As I say, the UK Government do not routinely speculate on future designations.