March 29, 2023

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Parliament speaker visits IRGC headquarters, warns against EU blacklisting

TEHRAN – Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf paid a visit to the chief headquarters of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps in the early hours of Saturday morning and met with IRGC chief commander General Hossein Salami.

In the meeting, Qalibaf reacted to the European Parliament’s recent resolution on Iran which called for listing the IRGC as a terrorist group. The resolution was adopted with an overwhelming majority and called on the European Council to list the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps as a terrorist group.

“They [MEPs] also call on the Council and the member states to add the IRGC and its subsidiary forces, including the paramilitary Basij militia and the Quds Force, to the EU terrorist list. Any country in which the IRGC deploys military, economic, or informational operations should sever and outlaw ties with this agency,” the European Parliament said in a press release after the adoption of the Resolution.

The move, though unbinding, elicited huge criticism from Iran. Officials, lawmakers, senior clerics, military officials, and media personalities all fiercely reacted to the possibility of the EU designating the IRGC. All of them have said that Iran will strongly react to the move. Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf said Friday that Iran will “certainly” deal with the Europeans “in a different way.”

In the meeting with General Salami, Qalibaf said the parliament is ready to decisively respond to the EU in case the IRGC was blacklisted. 

“The European Parliament should know that the proposal it presented cannot change the facts. ISIS was supported and equipped by the arrogant Western Front, and the one who fought terrorism and ended the presence of ISIS in the region is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. This is a truth that Europe cannot turn upside down, because all international organizations and honest people acknowledge it,” the speaker said, according to Iran’s official news agency IRNA. 

He added, “On the other hand, the Europeans support terrorism today. The European Parliament today supports the group of Hypocrites who tortured and assassinated more than 17,000 dear people of Iran, from women and children to the old and young. If this action of Europe takes place, they will definitely be considered among the same terrorists and our behavior with them in the region will be the same.”

Qalibaf stated, “They should know that we are at a level of deterrence that neither potential threats nor actual threats are any threat to us. As they know, we are accountable to them, and if they do something, they will be hit hard.”

He continued, “Today, the European Council must decide whether to close the window of rationality and move towards the defense of terrorism or to make another decision. We in the Islamic Council are ready to deal firmly with any action that tries to harm the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and distort the truth.”

After the meeting, General Salami advised the Europeans to refrain from repeating their mistakes. 

“If it wasn’t for the efforts of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, especially the Quds Force and the leadership of Martyr Soleimani, the terrorist volcano created by the Americans would have engulfed the Europeans and the security that prevails in Europe today would have disappeared,” General Salami said, according to IRNA. 

He added, “As Trump said, Obama was the creator of terrorism and created this phenomenon for the first time in Islamic lands. But this fire was on the edges of Europe. If it was not contained, it would cover all the geographical levels of Europe. But the habit of Europeans and Americans is that they always change the place of the executioner and the martyr, the oppressor and the oppressed.”

General Salami noted, “Europe was twice involved in a world war and today a new Europe has been formed on the ruins of the same past wars. Europe has not learned from its past mistakes and thinks that with such statements it can shake this huge army that is full of the power of faith, trust, power and will.”

He continued, “We are never worried about such threats or even acting on them because as much as our enemies give us a chance to act, we act stronger. The IRGC is basically strong in action, those who make it possible for the IRGC to move, have worked for the benefit of the IRGC. But we advise the Europeans not to repeat their past mistakes.”

General Salami pointed out that if the Europeans make a mistake, they must accept the consequences of their mistake.

Hamid Reza Moghaddam-Far, an advisor to the chief commander of the IRGC, has said that EU move puts European military forces under the slap of the IRGC. 
He said the resolution if acted on by the European Council, will have “numerous implications and consequences” for the Europeans. 

“Friends and foes alike agree that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps is the world’s largest and most effective fighter against terrorist organizations and groups. In fact, the IRGC has dismantled every notorious terrorist organization created by the US and supported by Europe against different nations, ethnicities, religions and beliefs,” Moghaddam-Far wrote in an article published by Tasnim. “Dealing with Deash terrorist group was the most recent and most visible example of the IRGC’s fight against terrorism; the Daesh that was created by the US and supported by Europe, was devouring entire West Asia, and no Muslim, Christian, or Jewish followers were safe from this group’s evil acts, murder, crime, and horror. Neither the Arabs, nor the Persians, nor the Kurds, nor any other ethnic group was secure from their threats; however, the IRGC has confronted it and significantly reduced its devilish existence.”

He added, “Given the enormous threat posed by Daesh and given the fact that the entire world is now aware of it, many nations recognize that it was the IRGC and Haj Qassem Soleimani (the late commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force) who stood up to these terrorists. Now, if a society or parliament foolishly wants to label these anti-terrorism fighters as terrorists, what is actually happening would be a demonstration of the real intention behind the use of a label by Europeans and Americans. The world will realize more than ever that these titles are only a tool in hands of some western politicians and they do not reflect a belief or truth. As a result, the labeling of the IRGC would demonstrate more than anything that Europe and the US are against confronting terrorism rather than with terrorism itself. Moreover, terrorism, in essence, is the result of liberalism’s desire to exploit others.”

The advisor said, “Labeling the IRGC by Europeans changes nothing about the IRGC because, firstly, the IRGC has always been under pressure and the most severe sanctions from sponsors of terrorism, including the US and Europe. Secondly, the IRGC will continue to fight terrorism as it has in the past. The EU move would be yet another example of European stupidity, as they have labeled themselves as a “threat against fighting terrorism”. In other words, Europe will officially declares that its forces would be a direct threat to the IRGC; this would indicate a clear meaning in the military and strategic framework. It means that the IRGC will now consider the military forces of these European countries as a threat to nations and geography of the region, just like as Daesh and CENTCOM. Some European officials have stated that their parliament’s approach is emotional; however, I would like to emphasize that no emotion would be such stupid; this approach is pure stupidity. The Europeans want to put their military forces in the region under slap of the IRGC. Europeans can do this, but trying this one would not be harmless to them!”

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