Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to all MPs calling on them to back the Government’s reported proposal to proscribe the antisemitic Islamist terrorist group known as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) under the Terrorism Act 2000.
We have provided the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, and the Security Minister, Tom Tugendhat, and all MPs with a dossier on the IRGC, detailing its horrendous record of antisemitism and violence against Jewish people.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has a long and appalling record of promoting antisemitic propaganda, including Holocaust-denial, and funding and orchestrating violence against Jews. This is in addition to being the world’s biggest state-sponsor of terrorism more generally, the effects of which are not only profound in the Middle East but felt on every continent in the world. According to our nation’s security chiefs, Iran directly threatens the UK.
But what is less known is that it is specifically the IRGC that is one of the principal instruments through which the Iranian regime carries out these endeavours.
Founded in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the IRGC is a paramilitary force that answers directly to the radical regime. Its purpose is to serve as a praetorian guard for the theocracy at home and to advance its interests abroad. That includes training, arming and supporting terrorist groups and encouraging strategic acts of terror against targets deemed hostile to the Islamic Republic.
The IRGC has a paramount role in cultivating antisemitic sentiment, giving succour to antisemites and backing terrorism against Jews.
The IRGC is a vital organ pumping out antisemitic propaganda in Iran and through the Middle East, it emboldens those who wish harm to Jewish people in the name of extremist religion, and it is the indispensable patron of such antisemitic genocidal terrorist groups as Hizballah and Hamas, both of which are proscribed by the UK.
It is therefore right for Britain to recognise the antisemitism and broader malevolence at the core of the IRGC and move to proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist organisation as well.
Over the years, particularly recently, evidence has mounted of support for the IRGC in Britain, some of which has been directly documented by Campaign Against Antisemitism and is especially concerning when considered in the context of the high rate of domestic antisemitism.
The proscription of the IRGC-backed Islamist terrorist group Hizballah in 2019, which was followed by the outlawing of Hamas in 2021 — the culmination of years of campaigning by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others — can serve as a case study for a similar ban of the IRGC.
Just as the proscription of Hizballah and Hamas sent a powerful message to the Jewish community — and Islamists — that antisemitism and terrorism will not be tolerated in the UK, so would the proscription of the IRGC, particularly at a time of record-breaking antisemitism in Britain and around the world.