Government adviser outlines case against treating Iranian guards as terror group

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Government adviser outlines case against treating Iranian guards as terror group

Jonathan Hall KC said sanctioning was a better way to deal with state-based threats

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

IRGC tank in 2012 military parade in Tehran (Wikipedia)
IRGC tank in 2012 military parade in Tehran (Wikipedia)

The government’s independent terrorism reviewer has outlined the case against treating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror group.

Jonathan Hall KC said sanctioning was a better way to deal with state-based threats, and he insisted proscription legislation was intended for terrorist groups rather than state officials.

He also said it would be impossible for the UK to prosecute members of the IRGC because officials have immunity from criminal prosecution for acts carried out on behalf of their state.

Hall’s stance is in contrast to that of communal organisations such as the Board of Deputies, and the Jewish Leadership Council, who have backed calls for the IRGC to be proscribed.

Conservative ministers, including home secretary Suella Braverman, have also argued in favour of the ban, in contrast to foreign secretary James Cleverly, who is believed to be supportive of the stance adopted by the KC Hall.

He legal expert told The Times:”Hall told The Times: “Proscription is saying that these groups shouldn’t exist at all, which is quite a difficult concept when it’s a government department, no matter how much we disapprove of its activities.

“No one is saying that Iran should not have a security department, we just need to change its behaviour.”

Hall told a conference of the Counter-Extremism Group this month that the IRGC did not fall within the definition of a terrorist group “because it is part of the state.”

Lord Carlile, who previously did Hall’s role, argued that proscription was justified “because there’s no doubt that Iranian state organisations are involved in spying and cybercrime”.

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