At today’s debate on statutory instrument Iran (Sanctions) Regulations 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 1314), Labour’s shadow Middle East minister and LFI parliamentary supporter Wayne David expressed Labour’s concern around Iran’s destabilising activity in the Middle East and once again pushed the government on the need to proscribe the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organisation.
He said: “During the past 18 months or so, we have seen a significant increase in Iran’s reprehensible behaviour at home and abroad. In Iran, the authorities have brutally suppressed the protests of women and young Iranians who have dared to demand freedom and a better future. In the past 18 months, the Iranian regime has probably executed more people than any other country in the world. Let us not forget that it continues, too, to detain UK-Iranian dual nationals.
Across the middle east, of course, we have seen an increase in Iranian-sponsored terrorism. We all understand that Iran has close links to Hamas, proxies in Yemen who are acting against international shipping, and close links to Hezbollah, which is a very real threat to the north of Israel; and, as we all know, Iran has been—and is—supplying drones to Russia for use in Ukraine.”
“It is because of the Iranian regime’s internal repression and external aggression that we welcome these sanctions regulations. But there is another reason why we support the measures: in this country, almost a year ago, the security services indicated that they had foiled 15 plots against individuals. I suspect that the situation, if anything, has become worse. Let me be clear: we cannot and should not acquiesce to, or tolerate, individuals being harassed or silenced here for having the bravery to speak out against this despicable Iranian regime. I believe that that view is shared by all parts of the House and by members of the Iranian diaspora community in this country.”
He later went on to ask: “Has the Minister given further consideration to proscribing the IRGC, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Warley mentioned? As he will be aware, Labour has promised and proposed a new mechanism for the proscription of foreign state-funded actors. I will be appreciative if the Minister has given that proposal due consideration and, if he has done so, if he could indicate his views. I understand that there is a collective Government position, although, as my right hon. Friend suggested, there are differences within Government. What is the Government’s position? I wonder if the Minister would be good enough to elucidate that for us.”
You can read the full debate here.