AFP: The European Union has no immediate plans to follow the US lead and classify Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard a “terrorist” group, diplomatic sources said Thursday. BRUSSELS, Aug 16, 2007 (AFP) – The European Union has no immediate plans to follow the US lead and classify Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard a “terrorist” group, diplomatic sources said Thursday.
“The European Union takes independent decisions on what organisations to include on the list,” said European Commission spokesman Jens Mester.
“We cannot comment on this US decision which apparently has not yet been taken,” he added.
“Usually, in practice, our decision follows a UN decision,” Mester told AFP.
Formally no name can be added, or taken off, the EU’s own terror list without the unanimous approval of all 27 EU member states, given at ministerial level, and “the commission then follows this line”.
There was no immediate comment from Portugal, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, but a European diplomatic source said he was “not aware of any plans for the EU to do the same” as Washington, and add the Revolutionary Guard to the terror list.
The administration of President George W. Bush is preparing to issue an executive order blacklisting the group in order to block its assets, a US government official said.
If labeled a terror group, the Revolutionary Guard would be the first national military branch included on the US list of individuals, businesses, charities and extremist groups linked to terrorism.
The new move is seen by some experts as confrontational and could appease hawkish groups within the administration pushing for possible military action against Iran.
The Iranian foreign ministry called the action “worthless” propaganda.
In London, a Foreign Office spokesman said banning terrorist groups was a matter for the Home Office, but added “our position is that Iran should realise that it’s continued defiance is not cost-free and it faces a clear choice between the international community or greater isolation.”
The Home Office said it only dealt with proscription of groups operating within Britain. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard is not on the list of 44 organisations banned under British terrorism acts.