Over 130 MPs and peers urge Sunak to proscribe Iranian group after Israel attacks

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Over 130 MPs and peers urge Sunak to proscribe Iranian group after Israel attacks

Letter sent by All Party UK-Israel Parliamentary Group claims the IRGC 'has never posed a greater threat within the UK'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor


More than 130 MPs and peers have written to Rishi Sunak to call for the government to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation, following Iran’s missile strike on Israel last weekend.

The letter, signed by senior cross-party figures including ex-cabinet ministers, says a ban on the group is now “more crucial and pertinent” than ever and adds: “The IRGC has never posed a greater threat within the UK.”

It notes also that: “Last month, IRGC thugs reportedly even carried out a stabbing against an Iran International journalist outside his home in Wimbledon.”

The All Party UK-Israel Parliamentary Group published their letter to the Prime Minister on Thursday, days after both Sunak and Lord Cameron, the foreign secretary appeared to rule out proscribing the Iranian group, favouring instead UK sanctions levelled at the group, and possible further co-ordinated action with other G7 states.

Signatories to the letter, which is signed by 134 parliamentarians, include the Group’s chairs, the Conservative MP Bob Blackman and his Labour’s Christian Wakeford, along with senior figures such as Lord Turnberg, Baroness Altmann, Lord Grabiner KC, and Baroness Chakrabarti.

MPs signing include Labour’s Margaret Hodge and Sharon Hodgson, and the Conservatives Simon Clarke and Sir Michael Fabricant.

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The letter adds:”“We know that prior to October 7th, IRGC chief Ismail Ghani travelled around the Middle East to unite Hamas and Hezbollah in their agenda of terror.

“The Government has rightly proscribed Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups which have been an essential step in combatting extremism and terrorism here in the UK, but it is not enough.

“Given that the IRGC is the primary source of ideological radicalisation, funding, equipment, and training for these dangerous groups, it is the responsibility of the Government to act against the root cause as well.

“Proscription of the IRGC has deep support across Parliament, even prior to this dangerous escalation. The need to proscribe the IRGC is more crucial each day – the Government must answer this call.”

Christian Wakeford MP

Despite coming under pressure on the issue, Sunak is  believed to have been convinced by the argument, that at this time, that it would be foolish for the foreign office to close off all communication with Tehran.

Proscribing the IRGC would almost certainly leave Britain without an embassy in Iran, and end vital intelligence gathering and communication opportunities.

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