UK govt slammed for failure to ban IRGC in Lords debate

IRGC Parade in Tehran. Image Credit: YPA, CC-BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The government has been challenged over its failure to proscribe the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group in a debate in the House of Lords yesterday.

The debate follows reporting that the government was imminently about to proscribe the IRGC in early January, though this has not happened.

Labour announced its support for proscription in January, outlining necessary legislative changes to fully implement a ban.

Former LFI chair Lord Walney, who tabled the debate, said: “This is an organisation which is committed to armed resistance against Israel, exactly the same grounds on which the Government has proscribed Hezbollah.

“Our intelligence services are clear that it is committed to kidnaps and killings on UK soil. There must be an argument within government not to do this, so can the minister enlighten the House on what this is, because it seems very obvious that it should be proscribed to many members across both Houses?”

LFI parliamentary supporter Lord Collins of Highbury, who is Labour’s Lords FCDO spokesperson, said: “This is not good enough. We’ve had ministers and prime ministers support the objective of banning this organisation, which is a threat not only to the citizens of Iran, but also to the citizens in this country… It’s about time we acted, rather than just talked”.

Labour peer Lord Harris of Haringey said there is “clearly a row going on in Government”, claiming that Foreign Office is vetoing a ban of the IRGC against the will of all other departments, and accused the government of “shilly-shallying” on the issue.