Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned on Sunday, January 22, that Iran may leave the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the European parliament’s resolution asking member countries to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organization is implemented, Press TV reported.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the special session of the Iranian parliament on the European sanctions.
The speaker of the Iranian parliament, Baqer Qalibaf, also said that European countries “should not close the window of diplomacy” by designating the IRGC a terrorist organization, or they should be ready to face retaliatory measures such as the designation of all their forces deployed in the region as terrorist groups.
Last week, the European Parliament (EP) adopted two resolutions putting the IRGC on the EU’s terror watchlist and asking its member states to designate it a terrorist organization. It also asked for fresh sanctions against several other Iranian entities and individuals, including President Ebrahim Raisi, over their role in alleged human rights violations during the recent anti-Hijab protests in Iran.
Iran has maintained that the mass anti-Hijab protests, which broke out in September last year following the suspicious death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini and lasted for months, were backed by foreign elements with the objective of regime change.
Earlier, in a phone conversation with his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billstrom, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian had underlined that the EP’s resolution violates the UN charter and is “ungrateful,” as the IRGC had played a significant role in the fight against ISIS, which was threatening European capitals.
EU following US diktats
Iran condemned the EP’s move, claiming that the resolution once again showed that the EU had no free will and “has turned into a puppet of US terrorism, the Zionist regime, and the hated anti-national [Iranian] groups.”
The US had already listed the IRGC as a terrorist organization, as part of the so-called ‘maximum pressure’ campaign implemented by the former Donald Trump administration following its unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018.
The EP’s resolution was adopted by a vote of 598 in favor and nine against, with 31 abstentions. The amendment in the EU’s annual foreign policy report asks “the EU and its member states to include the IRGC on the EU’s terror blacklist in the light of its terrorist activity, the repression of protesters, and its supplying of drones to Russia.”
Iran has rubbished this last allegation, mostly echoed by the US and its NATO allies, of its drones being used by Russia in Ukraine, and called it propaganda.
If implemented, the ban would invite criminal proceedings against members of the IRGC and its subsidiary militias such as Basij and the Quds force. Its assets would also be frozen and any association with it would invite criminal proceedings.
Iran maintains that listing the IRGC as a terrorist organization is illegal as it is a part of the country’s official military.
Meanwhile, on Monday, foreign ministers of Europe are set to approve a new, fourth round of sanctions against Iran over the protests, DW has reported.