“Al-Ain News” reveals… Where did the efforts to classify the “Iranian Guard” as a terrorist have reached?

“Al-Ain News” reveals… Where did the efforts to classify the “Iranian Guard” as a terrorist have reached?
“Al-Ain News” reveals… Where did the efforts to classify the “Iranian Guard” as a terrorist have reached?
Updated Tuesday 1/24/2023 05:54 PM Abu Dhabi time

Threads intertwine in the issue of classifying the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a “terrorist” in the European Union, and serious steps contradict statements, which imposes ambiguity.

In conjunction with the European Parliament passing a resolution supporting placing the Revolutionary Guards on terrorist lists, and the Commission President announcing her support for the move, the head of European diplomacy had another opinion, which greatly confused the scene.

And last Thursday, the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on member states to put the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on European terrorism lists.

This came two days after a statement by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in which she announced her support for designating the Revolutionary Guards as terrorists.

But one person swam in the opposite direction, the European Union’s foreign policy representative, Josep Borrell, who said that the bloc could only include the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the list of terrorist entities after a decision by an EU court stating that.

He said, “This matter cannot be decided without a court. A court decision first. You cannot say, ‘I consider you a terrorist because I do not like you.’”

He added that a court in an EU member state would have to issue a concrete legal conviction before the bloc itself could act on the matter.

This inconsistency imposed some confusion and a lot of ambiguity on the course of placing the Iranian Guards on European terrorist lists, but Al-Ain News clarifies in this report all the information about the listing mechanism, the current location of the Revolutionary Guards file, and the legal exits from the “Borell complex”.

Listing mechanism

Like any institutional system, the European bloc takes its decisions through a specific mechanism, which also applies to decisions to be included in terrorist lists. The member states, through a vote in the European Council, make the final decision.

The European Commission said in a statement to Al-Ain News: “The procedure for inclusion on the terrorist lists is taken through a decision issued by the European Council, with the unanimous consent of the member states,” which means that Borrell does not have the right to vote, but he remains influential in view of his position and responsibilities.

She added that under EU law, the prerequisite for including an organization on the EU’s terrorism list is “a national decision issued by a competent national authority in a member state, such as a court ruling, the opening of an investigation or a ban order issued by an administrative authority, meaning that the level of the EU He alone cannot act without this national decision.”

According to this statement, the matter is not limited to a conviction by a court, but rather that it can be based on an administrative decision in a member state, and therefore the matter is not complicated to the degree that Borrell put forward, because court decisions in Europe can take many years.

Procedurally, the decision to include a specific organization or individual on the European terrorism list goes through 3 levels, before it is issued, the first of which is the submission by a member state of an official proposal for inclusion to the bloc’s institutions in Brussels.

The proposal then goes to what is known as the “preparatory bodies”, namely the Working Group on Restrictive Measures to Combat Terrorism, which examines and evaluates the information contained in the proposal. It establishes the legal basis for the listing, and then makes recommendations to the Board.

In the third and final stage, the European Council votes on the decision, and if it is approved unanimously, it becomes an effective decision and is published in the Official Gazette, accompanied by a statement of the reasons for listing.

Iran Guard track

With regard to the file of the Revolutionary Guards, the file has passed the first level of procedural steps, and is still in the second stage, which is the subject of examination and scrutiny by the working group concerned with restrictive measures to combat terrorism, according to what Al-Ain News learned.

As proof of this, Germany has repeatedly announced its efforts to include the Revolutionary Guards on the list of terrorism, and even its Foreign Minister Analina Birbock said more than a week ago: “Legal obstacles must be removed before listing … That is why we contacted the European Union to clarify the requirements.”

A few days ago, the German Foreign Ministry confirmed, in a statement to Al-Ain News, that Germany will increase pressure on Iran, especially on the Revolutionary Guards.

She added, “Therefore, the federal government initiated discussions within the framework of the European Union to examine the legal issues of inclusion,” that is, the inclusion of the Iranian organization in the lists of terrorism.

More than that, the Reuters news agency quoted European diplomatic sources on January 19, that France and the Netherlands are among the member states that support the inclusion of the Revolutionary Guards on terrorist lists.

Thus, the file at the present time has gone beyond the level of submitting the proposal, and is in the study stage (the second level) and establishing the legal basis for listing, which explains Borrell’s public statements, in an attempt to influence the study and examination stage, according to observers.

The high representative of European politics knows that this stage is the best time in which he can influence the course of the listing decision, given that the third stage concerns member states only, and he did not have a vote in it.

Borrell adopts a position different from the positions of the European Parliament and key member states such as Germany and the Netherlands, regarding the imposition of sanctions on Iran, as he pushes for keeping the issue within what is known as “minimum sanctions”, in order to preserve “political hair” with Tehran.

In evidence of the difference in visions, Hana Neumann, a prominent member of the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter a few days ago: “It has become clear this week that Borrell and Parliament have different visions of the Union’s policy towards Iran… This is fair enough in a democracy.” That’s why we meet and talk.”

And she continued, “However, Borrell has been evading such discussion for months now,” according to what was monitored by Al-Ain News.

Legal exits

Despite Borrell’s attempt to narrow the legal outlet for including the Revolutionary Guards on terrorist lists, European Union law and legal precedent, and a court ruling in Germany in 1997, greatly expand this legal outlet.

According to the statement of the “European Commission” to “Al-Ain News”, the legal basis for inclusion in the terrorist lists is not limited only to a conviction by a court, but rather it can be based on an administrative decision in a member state, whether to ban or open an investigation into crimes committed by the Revolutionary Guards. .

More than that, Hannah Neumann wrote in a previous tweet, followed by “Al-Ain News”, that opening an investigation into the crimes of the Revolutionary Guards may be sufficient as a legal basis for inclusion, as she wrote, “To include an organization on the terrorist list, it needs a conviction or at least an investigation against it because of terrorist acts in at least the member states.

legal precedent

In addition to the above options, there is a clear legal precedent in the EU for sanctioning an individual under the bloc’s terrorism sanctions regime, based on a legal case outside the bloc’s borders.

In October 2011, the European Union targeted five Iranians with sanctions within the counter-terrorism regime, in connection with an alleged failed attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

The European Union said in a statement reported by Agence France-Presse at the time: “Following the thwarting of the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, the Council today subjected five persons to restrictive measures from the European Union aimed at combating terrorism.”

The list of those punished included Mansour Arbabsiar, Ghulam Shakuri, Qassem Soleimani, Hamid Abdullah and Abdul Reza Shahlai, all of whom were accused in a case being considered by the American judiciary regarding the assassination attempt.

Jason Brodsky, director of policy at United Against Nuclear Iran, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization in the United States, confirmed this precedent, writing in a tweet while writing this report: “There is a legal precedent for the European Union to put an individual on its terrorism list.” Iranian Revolutionary Guard officer Gholam Shakuri, based on a case being considered by an American court, not necessarily a court in the European Union.

This is not the first time that the issue of listing the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist has been raised based on a case in an American court, as the representative of the German Christian Union and the union’s spokesman for foreign affairs, Norbert Röttgen, previously expanded the legal perspective, and stated that the legal basis is not limited to cases and files within the European Union.

He said in a tweet followed by “Al-Ain News”: “There is no legal uncertainty (in the issue of classification).. The German Foreign Ministry knows that inclusion on terrorist lists can be based on cases outside the European Union, but it does not say that publicly,” pointing out that The Foreign Ministry mentioned this in a note sent to the German Parliament.

And he went on to say, “There is a decision issued by a criminal court in the United States regarding the involvement of the Revolutionary Guards in terrorism,” pointing out the possibility of including the Iranian organization on European terrorist lists on this basis, based on the commitment of American courts to the rule of law.

previous ruling

What’s more, there is a prior ruling by a court in a Member State, which could become the legal basis for the inclusion required by the European Representative for Foreign Affairs.

The verdict dates back to 1997, according to research conducted by Al-Ain News, and is related to the case of the assassination of a number of Kurdish opponents of the Iranian regime, in a restaurant in the capital, Berlin, in 1992, known as the “Mykonos assassinations.”

The New York Times, covering the verdict on April 11, 1997, wrote, “After a three-year trial involving the testimony of 166 witnesses, the Berlin Supreme Court ruled that the murder of four dissidents in the Mykonos restaurant was coordinated by the secretive Special Operations Committee in Tehran.” .

This committee includes in its membership the Iranian guide, the president of the country, and the leaders of the security services, foremost of which is the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which makes the “Mykonos” case valid as a legal basis for convicting the latter of terrorism, given that its leader is a member of a supreme committee that ordered a terrorist act in a European country.

Commenting on this, writer Roya Hakakian said in a tweet via “Twitter”, followed by “Al-Ain News”: “The European Union says that it will not classify the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization until a court rules on that. Well, there is a court that has already done that.”

And she continued, “In April 1997, the Supreme Court in Berlin convicted the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (within the framework of the Special Operations Committee) of ordering the killings in the Mykonos restaurant.”

According to observers, the working group concerned with studying the file of listing the Revolutionary Guards will study all these legal outlets and facts, before submitting its report to the European Council, but the process will take time.

The article is in Arabic

Tags: AlAin News reveals .. efforts classify Iranian Guard terrorist reached

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