(PresidentialHill.com)- In response to a “brutal” crackdown on rallies, the European Union announced further sanctions against Iran on Monday. However, the bloc’s top diplomat said the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) could not be designated as a terrorist organization without a court order.
The group has also raised concerns over the transfer of Iranian drones to Russia and the ongoing brutal treatment of domestic demonstrators, including executions.
The 27-nation EU’s relations with Tehran have worsened as attempts to restart discussions on its nuclear program have failed. They have only further exacerbated as Iran has taken steps to imprison many European citizens.
Tobias Billstrom, Sweden’s foreign minister, stated, “The EU strongly condemns the cruel and excessive use of force by the Iranian authorities on peaceful protestors,” according to a tweet from the nation’s EU diplomatic office.
The foreign ministers of the EU, meeting in Brussels on Monday, “approved a fresh package of sanctions on Iran, targeting those driving the repression,” according to Sweden, which is presently in charge of the rotating presidency of the EU.
The European Parliament has urged the EU to go further and designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, condemning it for the repression of demonstrations that have lasted for four months and the provision of drones for Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.
However, the chief diplomat for the EU insisted that before the EU could impose any such designation, a member state’s courts must first issue a judgment with a specific legal denunciation.
The German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, said during the conference on Monday that “the Iranian dictatorship and the Revolutionary Guards harass their own populace on a daily basis.”
Last week, 37 names were to be added to a blacklist of Iranians and businesses whose travel to Europe is prohibited and whose assets are frozen.
The establishment of the IRGC safeguarded the Shi’ite clerical governing regime immediately after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Its military, which includes army, naval, and air divisions and controls the Basij religious militia often deployed in crackdowns, is believed to number 125,000.
The ministers were convening at the center of political activity for the EU, where a day earlier, thousands of people demonstrated against the arrest of Belgian humanitarian worker Olivier Vandecasteele in Iran.
Iran had urged the EU to refrain from labeling the IRGC as a terrorist organization.