Skip to main content

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Volume 727: debated on Tuesday 31 January 2023

7. What recent assessment he has made of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ role in Iran’s activities in the region. (903370)

The Government wholly condemn the destabilising activity of the IRGC in the region and beyond. That includes support for military proxies and attacks and threats against Iran’s regional neighbours. We have put in place more than 300 sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities, including the sanctioning of the IRGC in its entirety.

I welcome my right hon. Friend’s answer, but there has been a major groundswell in calls for the UK to proscribe the IRGC in recent months. This terror organisation’s record speaks for itself, whether that is arming and financing its terror proxies, assisting Putin’s murderous assault on Ukraine, intensifying involvement in the international drugs trade and now brazenly increasing its activities right here in the United Kingdom. Will my right hon. Friend heed these urgent calls for proscription and commit to curtailing the IRGC’s ever-growing threat?

My hon. Friend speaks with accuracy and passion about the malign impact of the IRGC around the world and in the region, and its attempts to intimidate and injure journalists here in the UK. I will not comment specifically on what further actions we might take—he will understand the reasons we choose not to do so—but I can assure him that we do not limit ourselves to the actions that I have announced when it comes to ensuring that the IRGC’s regional and international activities are curtailed.

My constituent Hamid Bahrami is one of a number of Iranian constituents who are deeply frightened by the activities of the IRGC here in the UK. Can the Secretary of State tell me more about what he is doing to protect Iranians who have come here for sanctuary but find themselves still threatened by IRGC agents?

My Department works closely with the Home Office to ensure that people who live here in the UK, irrespective of their heritage or birthplace, feel the umbrella of protection that they deserve. We will continue to work closely on threats against Iranians here in the UK.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is 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. 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?

I am tempted to refer the right hon. Gentleman to my previous answer. We have already sanctioned more than 300 individuals and entities because of the crackdown on protesters and the brave women in Iran standing up for their rights. We have sanctioned members of the judiciary who have abused their own legal system to persecute those women. We have sanctioned individuals and entities who have been involved in supplying drones that Russia uses to attack Ukraine. We have sanctioned the prosecutor general, who was responsible for passing down the judgment on Mr Akbari. We will continue to take action to curtail the IRGC’s ability to do those things. As I have said, we do not limit ourselves to the responses that I have announced. We always keep our options under review.