Legal aspects of possible action of EU against IRGC

January 24, 2023 - 22:38

The recent efforts to include the IRGC on the list of terrorist groups of the European Union are important in terms of laying the groundwork for the action of the Council of Europe and also in terms of reflecting public opinion.

The listing of the IRGC was not supposed to be on the agenda of the European Council on Monday, and it was supposed to be on the agenda of the Council only after the completion of its review in a special working group, which may take several weeks.

Since the decision in the working group and in the Council must be made unanimously by all 27 member states, the review process may take several weeks or months.

In this regard, there have been tense discussions in some European countries in the past weeks. While considering this action as "important and logical", the German foreign minister has conditioned support on providing legal grounds for it. England is also discussing the case.

The British authorities believe that putting the IRGC on the list of terrorist groups is facing legal obstacles.

While similar legal debates are going on in some other European countries, Europe is focusing on the impact of this action on the nuclear agreement (JCPOA), and its economic effects.

Another issue is that European countries should reach a consensus about it. From this point of view, Russia could have influence, because Putin has influence on one or two Eastern European countries, and if he is really against the move, it can be effective.

Kayhan: Europe's rope-dancing on sanctions' rotten rope

In an article entitled "Europe's rope-dancing on sanctions' rotten rope", Kayhan points to the approval of a new package of sanctions against Iran and writes: When Europeans failed in creating chaos in Iran to make Iran surrender in the (nuclear) negotiations, they entered the phase of intensifying the sanctions.

It is further states: Although the U.S. and Europe's rope-dancing on the rotten rope of sanctions has been tried many times and led the hegemonic system to a dead end, but with the support of pro-Western forces, they are trying to stop the “train of the country's progress” by intensifying the pressure and even reawaken the unrest inside the country.

The Europeans, along with the United States, have interfered in Iran's internal affairs and sanctioned Iran's officials and institutions many times under the pretext of the recent unrest and protection of human rights.

On Monday, the Europeans approved a new package of sanctions against Iran in a suicidal attempt at the "Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union" claiming "targeting those driving the repression".

Hours after the European Union imposed new anti-Iranian sanctions, the British government announced that it had added seven new names (5 individuals and 2 institutions) to the "Iranian Human Rights Sanctions Regime".

While criticizing the positions of some organizations in the country, Kayhan writes: Although the American Democrats, as well as the Europeans, have admitted more than once that Trump's “maximum pressure” campaign has failed, still they are looking for hatred, Iranophobia and intensifying pressure against Iran.

It is obvious that the sanctions against Iran have become less effective and the Islamic Republic will not give in to the pressure of the West with the bargaining chips it has, but it should be said that some of the agents of the West have been openly supporting both the rioters during the last 4 months and the wave of sanctions.

Khorassan:  Europe retreats 

In an article, the Khorassan newspaper referred to the withdrawal of European Union from the proposal by the European Parliament to sanction the IRGC and writes: Monday's meeting of the European foreign ministers, despite the previous announcement, did not make a decision about including the IRGC on the terrorist list, and the council announced that it did not make a decision about it at the moment.
In the meeting on Monday, the EU foreign ministers planned to impose sanctions against 37 Iranian individuals and entities and work on the issue of putting the IRGC on the list of terrorist organizations.
Josep Borrell also told reporters on Monday: "You cannot say 'I consider you a terrorist because I don't like you'." 
Borrell noted that could only happen if a court in an EU country determined the IRGC was guilty of terrorism.
Borrell's comments were considered by some observers as a withdrawal of the EU from the anti-Iran resolution of the European Parliament, and the BBC considered it a sign of a divide at the top level in the EU over designating the IRGC as a terrorist. In fact, the European Parliament adopted resolution against the IRGC after Ursula von Der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, supported such a designation.
At the same time, Iran's FM Hossein Amir Abdollahian welcomed Borrell's statements and said: "What we saw in Borrell's statements indicates that the EU should not move towards costly actions."

Etamad: Uproar over closing Strait of Hormuz 

The Etemad newspaper refers to recent remarks regarding the need to close the Strait of Hormuz in response to the tensions between Iran and Western countries and writes: Statements are made that Iran should close the Strait of Hormuz in order to counter the hostile policies of the West, but is it possible to close this strait? 

The newspaper further refers to the opinion of some experts and writes: Some believe that the Strait of Hormuz is not inside the (territorial) borders of Iran, so it cannot be closed or receive crossing fees for the passage of ships. 

"In the 1982 convention, the Strait of Hormuz was introduced as an international strait," Yousef Molaei, a professor of international relations and political law at Tehran University, told Etemad. 

Molaei continued, "Of course, the Strait of Hormuz is part of Iran's territorial waters because the width of this strait is less than 24 miles. But because it is a strait that is considered the only way to connect the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman, therefore, according to international documents, it is an international strait.” 

He went on to say, "During the Iran-Iraq war, there were many discussions to close this strait, but it was not allowed to do so. I don't think that all the officials agree on that. There are only some hard-liners that threaten to do that. These threats may be to dissuade the European Union from taking action against the IRGC.”

Resalat: Open and hidden diplomacy of the West

In recent days, American and European officials have all unanimously announced that the revival of the nuclear deal is no longer a priority of their foreign policy. But regardless of these positions and messages announced by the official channels in the West, signals are coming out that reveal the West’s "open diplomacy" and "hidden diplomacy".

Rafael Grossi, director general of the IAEA, after meeting with Pope Francis, the leader of the world Catholics, said Western countries' nuclear negotiations with Iran have failed. But it must be noted that the claims made by the IAEA against Iran’s nuclear program are fabricated by Western intelligence agencies and Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

Interestingly, during the last week, European authorities have sent a message to Iran that the Iran-IAEA negotiations are separate from the Vienna negotiations!

As a matter of fact, Iran's return to cooperation with the IAEA beyond Safeguards Agreement and even restoration of some Safeguards inspections will be dependent on the revival of the JCPOA and the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions.

Therefore, it seems that the two-way negotiation of the JCPOA (IAEA and 4+1 group) is considered a special tactic for greater control of the scene by Washington and the European troika.

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