The N-VA wants to place the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on the list of terrorist organisations

17 January 2023
Theo Francken et Darya Safai

Thousands of Iranians take to the streets every day following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. They are demonstrating for more freedom and equal rights. These protests are brutally suppressed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, an elite unit under the direct command of the Supreme Ayatollah, and it also commits terrorist attacks abroad. This is reason enough for MPs Theo Francken and Darya Safai to place this criminal organisation on the European list of terrorist organisations.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard was founded in 1979 by the then Head of State Ayatollah Khomeini to guard the Islamic Revolution and export its ideology. Since then, this corps has been the Iranian regime’s instrument of choice to mercilessly suppress any opposition or resistance at home and abroad.


Across the Middle East, the organisation directs or provides paramilitary and terrorist organisations (such as Hamas and Hezbollah) with the funding, weapons and training they need to wage their battles. But the organisation also carries out attacks here in the West. Assadollah Assadi, who is in prison here for plotting attacks in Paris, was trained by the Revolutionary Guard, for example.

Darya Safai: “Designating the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organisation would not only be a powerful symbolic decision, but also morally support the many victims of the repression by the Ayatollahs, both in Iran and here with us.”

International consensus

The United States formally classifies the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organisation. On 3 January 2023, the United Kingdom announced that it would follow the American example, and the Canadian Supreme Court ruled in November that the IRGC is a terrorist entity under Canadian law. Support for doing this is also growing in Europe. For example, in December last year, the Dutch House of Representatives adopted a motion to place the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on the list of terrorist organisations.

“Inclusion on the European list of terrorist organisations also has real consequences for those in power in Tehran,” adds group chairman Peter De Roover, “as their inclusion on the so-called blacklist deprives the organisation of the right to continue to present itself as a legitimate actor in political and diplomatic contacts with the Union or in financial transactions with companies and banks in the Union. It gives Europe additional tools to counter Iranian-backed terrorism.

European terrorist list

In Belgium, politicians do not have the power to place people or organisations on terrorist lists. This is done by OCAD analysts. MPs are therefore requesting the federal government through a resolution to call on the various European bodies to include the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on the European list of terrorist organisations as agreed in EU Common Position 931.

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