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Canada designates Iran’s IRGC a terrorist organisation, defying EU inaction

On 19 June 2024, Canada took decisive action against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by designating it as a terrorist organisation. This significant move comes despite the European Union’s continued refusal to follow suit, despite repeated calls from the European Parliament to blacklist the IRGC.


The IRGC operates under the direct influence of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is notorious for its internal repression and economic control.

The Revolutionary Guards have created a vast economic empire in Iran, spanning trade, industry, energy, banking, transport, mining, health, entertainment, sport and import-export. They control this vast network through foundations, camps, consortiums and holdings. But this is only the ordinary side of their activities. More importantly, they use their economic power to fund global terrorism and warfare, while supporting the oppressive regime in Iran.

Internationally, its Quds Force is notorious for supporting terrorist activities and providing financial, logistical and military support to allied governments and armed groups throughout the Middle East.

This decisive move by Canada stands in stark contrast to the European Union’s (EU) refusal to take similar steps. Despite several resolutions by the European Parliament calling for the IRGC to be blacklisted, the EU has remained inactive. Key figures such as Josep Borrell, perceived as soft on Iran, have been instrumental in this policy of appeasement. This reluctance has drawn sharp criticism, with many arguing that it emboldens the Iranian regime and its repressive mechanisms.

Canada’s designation brings it into line with the United States, which blacklisted the IRGC in 2019. The United Kingdom has also announced its intention to follow suit, but has yet to implement the designation. By taking this step, Canada reinforces the need for a unified international stance against the IRGC’s malign activities and underscores the growing recognition of its role in promoting terrorism and regional instability.

The decision also has particular resonance for Canadians, given the IRGC’s responsibility for the tragic downing of Flight PS752 in 2020, which claimed the lives of 176 people, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

Mrs MaryamRajavi, President-elect of the main opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran, said: “Canada’s designation of the IRGC as a terrorist entity is a commendable step that deserves congratulations to the Parliament and Government of Canada. The Iranian Resistance has been advocating for this designation for years. This measure is essential in response to four decades of repression, terrorism and warmongering by the regime”.

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