A British MP who also serves as the Conservative Party's chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee has called on the government to follow the US in designating Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation.
MP for Tonbridge and Malling, Tom Tugendhat, reportedly made the comments, after footage surfaced on social media of an IRGC banner at a Palestine solidarity march that took place in London last weekend, along with a flag of Palestine and Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), which includes some armed factions supported by the IRGC.
Tugendhat was quoted by the Telegraph yesterday as stating: "It is disturbing to see the flag of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps being so brazenly displayed on the streets of London.
Iranian newspaper Vatane Emrooz brags on 1st page of flag of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps #IRGC belonging to the regime at "the heart of London" at Pro-Palestine rally in London this weekend. IRGC is listed as terrorist organization by US. pic.twitter.com/s1c1EwgxmG
— mina bai (@bai_mina) May 24, 2021
"This is a terrorist organisation that is responsible for sowing instability across the Middle East and promotes Islamist extremism all over the world."
"The US has proscribed this vile organisation; the UK Government should do the same, as recommended by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. We should never have to see its flags on British streets again," he added.
In 2019 former US President Donald Trump approved the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organisation despite it being part of Iran's military. It has both operated independently and in cooperation with the regular armed forces, the Artesh. Should the UK also brand the IRGC a terrorist entity, it would be the first time a state group has been proscribed as such in the country.
Trump's designation preceded the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani head of the IRGC's elite branch, the Quds Force at the beginning of last year after making a dubious claim that he posed an "imminent" threat to the American people.