Iran’s Revolutionary Guard should be branded a terror group at once, LFI says

Britain must immediately declare Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps is a terrorist organisation and place sanctions on known human rights abusers, a Labour Party group has said.

A report published by Labour Friends of Israel says there is an urgent need to confront Iran for destabilising its neighbours and for its actions against its own population.

It calls on the UK government to adopt a package of new measures — including sanctions and a tougher stance on British nationals detained in Iran — regardless of whether talks on a new nuclear deal succeed.

The negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal scrapped by Donald Trump have been in stasis since last month, while tensions have continued to rise.

Last week the Revolutionary Guard seized two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, apparently in retaliation for an earlier incident involving an Iranian ship in the Mediterranean.

Labour Friends of Israel said the Revolutionary Guard needed to immediately be proscribed by the Home Office.

“The threats posed by Tehran – ranging from the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile programme to its destabilising regional agenda – have been downplayed for too long thanks to the west’s understandable desire to restrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” said LFI chair Steve McCabe MP.

“We also need to abandon the fallacy that it is possible to detach our national security interests from the plight of the Iranian people themselves. Iran has refused to talk about these issues in Vienna.

“That does not mean we should now ignore them. Instead, we urgently need a new, comprehensive and multi-faceted strategy to address these challenges.”

The LFI report, which includes contributions from several Iran experts, argues that the UK should stop refusing to describe British nationals detained by the Iranian regime as hostages.

The government has never used the term in cases such as that of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was released in March after nearly six years in detention.

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