The recent events flowing from the US killing the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, and the Iranian response with a missile attack on US bases in Iraq are hugely important for all of us who care about Israel and peace in the Middle East.
Iran and its nuclear programme, hegemonic bid for regional power, and state sponsorship of terrorism are the biggest strategic threats that Israel faces.
After more than 20 years running the IRGC Quds force Soleimani controlled Shia militias in Syria, financed and armed the Houthis in Yemen, Shia militias in Iraq, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and built Hezbollah into the most dangerous non-state actor in the world.
In their response to his death, Iran has directly threatened missile attacks on Haifa, a major city in Israel. Amid the global news coverage about Soleimani, it is astonishing that the UK Government has not designated the IRGC as a terrorist organisation, particularly given that Boris Johnson said on 8 January in the House of Commons that Soleimani had "the blood of British troops on his hands" and promoted terrorism.
Please sign our petition to the Prime Minister calling for this to happen:
“We, the undersigned, call on the UK Government to build on its decision to proscribe Hezbollah in its entirety by designating the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) as a foreign terrorist organisation, just as the US did in April 2019. The IRGC participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism and is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign. The IRGC:
- Is involved in the suppression of the Iranian people, including the recent torture and killing of more than 1,000 civilian protesters
- Promotes terrorism in the Middle East through its extraterritorial Quds Force. The UK Government knows that the IRGC provides financial and military support to terrorist organisations banned under UK law including Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).
- Has had a direct role through its Quds Force in the killing of more than150 British soldiers in Iraq
- Ordered the shooting of hundreds of Iraqi civilians by security forces in the last three months
- Has been heavily involved in support for the Asad regime in the Syrian Civil War, including the sieges, bombardment and starvation of many towns and cities including Aleppo, Douma, Darayya, Madaya, Homs, Hama, and Daraa, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians.
- It has been involved in assassinating Iranian dissidents abroad.”