Jan 24, 2023 06:46 UTC
  • Iran FM: EU hesitation about IRGC blacklisting shows bloc avoids ‘costly’ steps

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says the European Union does not appear to be willing to take “costly” steps vis-à-vis Iran after the bloc’s foreign policy chief indicated legal hurdles stood in the way of labeling the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terror group.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks on Monday after European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc cannot list the IRGC as a “terrorist” entity without an EU court decision.

Borrell stressed at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels that a court ruling with a “concrete legal condemnation” had to first be handed down before the bloc itself could apply any such designation.

Amir-Abdollahian called on European leaders to steer clear of “sensational and irrational” comments, expressing optimism that rationality will prevail in the field of diplomacy and foreign policy of some European countries so that the foreign policy of both the European and Iranian sides will not be compelled to pay higher costs.

Pointing to Borrell's statement, the top Iranian diplomat said, “This shows that the European Union seeks not to move towards taking costly steps.”

Amir-Abdollahian added, “The Islamic Republic considers negotiation, dialogue and constructive interaction with the European Union to be the best option, but it will give a reciprocal and effective response to any other decision by the European Union.”

Touching upon the talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, Amir-Abdollahian said the Iranian Foreign Ministry is committed to resolving issues through negotiations and that dialogue and exchange of messages with the Western parties continue until reaching a good, strong and stable agreement.

“Despite all the hypocritical behavior of some Western officials, including the Americans, the exchange of messages between Western countries and Iran as well as their insistence that the agreement should reach its final step is still on the agenda,” he noted.

Stressing that there is no need for “direct dialogue” with the Americans to reach an agreement at this stage, Iran’s foreign minister said, “Both sides have the necessary evidence and content, and if there is a serious will on the American side, we see the agreement within reach given the status quo.”