EU set to issue new sanctions against Iran on Monday

Bloc reportedly preparing fourth round of measures over human rights violations

Members of the IRGC attend a ground forces military drill in the East Azerbaijan province of Iran. Reuters
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The EU will reportedly issue a fourth round of sanctions against Iran on Monday as it works to list Tehran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation.

The bloc will add 37 individual entries to its sanctions over human rights violations, two sources told Reuters.

“We believe we should already start working on the fifth one to list IRGC as a terrorist organisation,” said one of the sources, an EU diplomat.

Iran has warned the EU against such a move, claiming Europe “would shoot itself in the foot” by sanctioning the IRGC — the backbone of Iran's regime.

The EU says the group, which yields major economic and military influence in Iran and the wider Middle East, is responsible for both the crackdown on protesters and drone supplies to Russia.

Its Basij paramilitary force is especially notorious for gunning down protesters, who have been killed in their hundreds since demonstrations began in September.

Both Germany and France have publicly pushed for the IRGC to be designated by the EU.

Listing the group as a terrorist organisation is “politically important and makes sense”, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said earlier this month.

The sanctions would mean the IRGC members would not be allowed to travel to the EU and any European assets would be frozen.

“It has to be legally sound and that is being discussed right now. But it won't be ready for Monday,” the diplomat said.

The IRGC has plotted global terrorist attacks and has ramped up its influence in the UK, US and Europe, said a recent report from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

Updated: January 19, 2023, 5:25 PM