Declare Iran’s revolutionary guard is a terror group, Lord Polak urges minister
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Declare Iran’s revolutionary guard is a terror group, Lord Polak urges minister

The Conservative Friends of Israel honorary president says the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' activities make it a destabilising force throughout the region

Lord Polak has urged the UK government to proscribe Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation in similar fashion to Hezbollah and Hamas.

The life peer, who is the honorary president of the Conservative Friends of Israel, said in the House of Lords that organisations sponsored by the IRGC that operated in other countries in the region were already proscribed by the Home Office.

He said on Wednesday: “Her Majesty’s Government rightly proscribed Hezbollah. Hezbollah was a creation of the IRGC so I can I ask my noble friend the minister to press his colleagues at the Home Office to fully proscribe the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps?”

But Lord Sharpe, a whip on Boris Johnson’s front bench, responded by saying that the government did not comment on which organisations were due to be added or removed from the list of proscribed groups.

He told the chamber: “The government regularly assesses the impact of the IRGC’s destabilising activity throughout the region, including its political, financial and military support to several militant and proscribed groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, militias in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen.

“Such activity compromises the region’s security, its ability to prosper, and escalates high tensions. It is for this reason that we have over 200 UK sanctions listings in place against Iran, including IRGC in its entirety.”

The IRGC was established four decades ago to defend Iran’s Islamic system in the wake of the 1979 revolution but has since expanded its operations to neighbouring countries and has long been fighting a proxy war against Western and Israeli-backed forces in countries including Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

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