Biden diplomats press UK to halt designating IRGC 'terror group'
The US government claims that the UK can play a major diplomatic role with Tehran, but this would be damaged if Iran's IRGC were to be outlawed, as per a new report by the Telegraph.
The Telegraph revealed, in a new report, that Joe Biden's diplomats are urging the UK government not to publicly label Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps a "terrorist organization", despite the Home Office's support for the move.
Whitehall insiders were quoted by The Telegraph as saying that the US State Department has maintained that the UK can play an important role as interlocutors with Tehran, which the designation would undermine.
The Foreign Office is using this argument to oppose the Home Office's proposal to outlaw Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), as per the report.
The report detailed that "proscription would make it a criminal offense to belong to the IRGC, attend its meetings, carry its logo in public or encourage support of its activities."
The drive to outlaw the organization, first reported by The Telegraph, has been stymied by a debate in the Whitehall over the appropriateness of taking such a step.
The Home Office, where Suella Braverman is Home Secretary and Tom Tugendhat is Security Minister, has been pressing for proscription across Whitehall.
But, the Foreign Office, led by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, has warned against the measure and questioned whether it would achieve the desired results.
The Foreign Office made the point that the proscription is normally used against groups that are not vital to a country's state apparatus, which does not apply to Iran's IRGC that the Republic considers a part of its military power and armed forces.
UK's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is likely to make the final decision, but it is unclear when that decision will be made. A ruling was expected in January but has been delayed due to the controversy.
Given the close US-UK ties on foreign policy, pressure from Biden's State Department - the American equivalent of the Foreign Office - complicates the debate in Whitehall, the report further argued.
According to some British assessments of the US situation, the State Department's stance is not shared by other sectors of Biden's government.
Some in favor of banning the IRGC have questioned the legitimacy of arguments advanced by the Foreign Office, citing the State Department.
A US State Department spokesperson said, as quoted by the Telegraph, “It is up to each country to determine what action in regards to the IRGC is applicable under their legal authorities and in their best interests.”
The spokesperson also highlighted that the US had “applauded the EU’s designations of IRGC officials and entities for their involvement in providing drones to Russia”.
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