A Senate committee has recommended Australia list Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation.
The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee handed down its report on Wednesday with 12 recommendations, including that it “recommends that the Australian Government take the necessary steps to formally categorise the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as an organisation involved in supporting and facilitating terrorism.”
It also recommended that Australia oppose Iran’s election to any United Nations’ bodies “in light of the regime’s clear disregard for human rights, particularly the rights of women and girls.”
The Fairfax press reported earlier this week that “Coalition and Greens MPs on the committee are expected to form a rare unity ticket” to recommend the IRGC proscription.
Chair of the committee Senator Claire Chandler told The Australian on January 13 that it was “absolutely clear that the IRGC is involved in a wide range of activity which represents a threat to Australia and Australians”.
“Officials in the UK and EU are moving towards proscribing the IRGC as a terrorist organisation and the Australian government should be taking the same path,” she told the publication.
Greens spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Senator Jordon Steele-John, who is also on the committee, said in a media release on January 10, “The Iranian diaspora community has been calling for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to be listed as a terrorist organisation, and the Australian government must start listening.”
A number of Jewish organisations made submissions to the inquiry, which was called in response to Iran’s brutal crackdown last year on demonstrators protesting the death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in custody.
All called for the IRGC to be proscribed.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Peter Wertheim noted that the United States and United Kingdom have both declared it a terrorist organisation.
“It is incongruous that Australia lists Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organisation, but does not similarly proscribe its principal enabler, and Iran’s principal exporter of malicious cyber activity, terrorism and war crimes, the IRGC,” he said.
“The case for listing the IRGC, including its expeditionary Quds force and its internal dispenser of terrorist measures to control Iran’s population, the Basij militia, is even more compelling than was the case for listing Hezbollah.”
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council said Australia “has long been out of step with key allies and partners when it comes to holding the Iranian regime and associated entities and individuals accountable”.
The Zionist Federation of Australia noted that the IRGC’s weekly newspaper has not only called for protesters within Iran to be executed, “But issued a threat against those in the West who support the protests.”