Lammy assails government inaction on IRGC proscription

David Lammy > David Woolfall, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The shadow foreign secretary assailed the government’s failure to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in parliament last week.

Facing foreign secretary James Cleverly during Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office questions, David Lammy accused the IRGC of being “responsible for 10 kidnap and death plots on British soil, the execution of Alireza Akbari, the unjust imprisonment of British nationals, supporting violent militia across the Middle East and the brutal crackdown on courageous Iranian protesters”.

Lammy continued: “Labour has been clear, and I wonder if we might get clarity from the foreign secretary. We would proscribe the IRGC, either by using existing terrorism legislation or by creating a new process of proscription for hostile state actors. When will the foreign secretary act?”

Cleverly outlined various sanctions the government has imposed on Iran, but side-stepped questions about IRGC proscription, saying only: “We will continue to take action to curtail the IRGC’s ability to do those things.”

The parliamentary clash came as The Times reported that plans to ban the IRGC have stalled amid disagreement within government. The FCDO is said to be arguing that proscription could weaken the UK’s access to the regime in Tehran, while the Home Office is keen to proceed with a ban.