The National Jewish Assembly (NJA) commends the UK government for its decision to enforce tougher sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran, however it firmly believes that this action alone is not sufficient to address the challenges presented by the IRGC.
The Foreign Office’s decision to expand sanctions criteria is a positive step towards holding supporters and companies accountable for their activities not only in Iran but also within the UK. It sends a strong message that there will be no hiding place for those who seek to harm the UK and its citizens.
Nevertheless, the NJA emphasises that proscribing the IRGC in its entirety is imperative. The IRGC has been known to engage in criminal activities that directly endanger the Jewish community, Israeli citizens, and those who speak out against the Iranian regime.
The NJA’s Chairman Gary Mond said, “proscribing the IGRC in full means the U.K. government will be able to use the full force against this vehicle of the Iranian regime, a vehicle it uses to act outside the realms of the law and with impunity. Anything less than proscription is simply an inadequate temporary fix.”
While the NJA understands the Foreign Office’s concerns regarding proscription and its potential impact on diplomatic channels with Iran, it urges the UK government to prioritise the safety and security of its citizens and take decisive action. The NJA acknowledges that the Iranian regime poses a global threat, including within the UK itself, as highlighted by the Director General of MI5 in November 2022.
Ultimately, the NJA recognizes that the most significant change can only come through a regime change in Iran. However, the credibility and outcome of such a change remain uncertain. In the meantime, it is imperative to address the immediate threats posed by the Iranian regime.
The NJA urges the government to reconsider its position and proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist group under the 2000 Terrorism Act. This decisive action would demonstrate the UK’s unwavering commitment to combating global terrorism and ensuring the safety of its citizens and communities.
The NJA will continue to engage with the government and relevant stakeholders to address the pressing concerns associated with the IRGC and advocate for stronger measures to counter the threat it poses.