Israel wants Australia to declare the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organisation after attack

Dan Jervis-Bardy
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Israel wants Australia and its allies to declare Iran’s paramilitary a terrorist organisation in response to last weekend’s ‘unprecedented’ missile and drone strike
Israel wants Australia and its allies to declare Iran’s paramilitary a terrorist organisation in response to last weekend’s ‘unprecedented’ missile and drone strike Credit: Lukas Coch/AAP

Israel wants Australia to declare Iran’s paramilitary a terrorist organisation in response to last weekend’s “unprecedented” missile and drone strike on the Jewish state.

The Federal Government on Monday called in Iran’s ambassador to Australia to demand that it cease attacks on Israel and underline the risk to the whole region of escalation.

In a major escalation to the Middle East conflict that has put the world on edge, Iran fired 300 drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday night.

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Israel and its key Western allies claimed to have intercepted 99 per cent of the projectiles, with no deaths and just one injury reported in the attack.

Israel’s deputy head of mission in Australia, Chris Cantor, told reporters in Canberra the strike was unprecedented because it was a direct attack on Israel by Iran, rather than one of its proxies such as Hamas or Hezbollah.

Mr Cantor said the act was proof of Iran’s “obsession” with destroying the state of Israel.

Israel was reportedly preparing a retaliatory attack on Iran before it was called off after an intervention from US President Joe Biden.

Mr Cantor is encouraging Australia and its allies to respond with “extreme” diplomatic measures – including designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation.

Putting an entity on the list means that dealings with the organisation — including membership or funding — is a criminal offence.

The Federal Government last year rejected a Senate inquiry recommendation to list IRGC, arguing it wasn’t covered under the terrorist regime because it was an organ of the Iranian state.

A spokesperson said on Monday listings under the criminal code could only apply to non-state actors.

“The IRGC has long been a threat to international security and the Albanese Government is intent on making it face consequences for its actions,” they said.

“That is why we are using the tools available to us to take meaningful action, including sanctioning 37 IRGC-linked officials and 44 linked IRGC entities since September 2022.

“Australia will continue to work with the international community to increase pressure on Iran to cease its destabilising actions and to prevent the conflict from spreading.”

Australia has used other tools to sanction Iranian forces and individuals who participated in the violent crackdown on protests that erupted after the death of Masha Amini.

Shadow home affairs minister James Paterson said the Opposition had long pushed for the IRGC to be listed as a terrorist organisation because “that’s what they are”.

“They are the principal state sponsor of terrorism across the Middle East,” he said..

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese left the door open to further sanctions.

He didn’t rule out expelling Iranian diplomats from Australia but suggested such a move could be counterproductive as it would cut off lines of communication.

“Iran’s actions continue to be irresponsible and place itself in a position where it’s quite rightly condemned by nations that are concerned about the rule of law and concerned about human rights issues,” he told ABC radio.

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