An Australian Senate committee is facing a serious setback in its attempt to ban Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The Attorney General’s Department (AGD), which responded to the recommendation by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, told the panel that current legislation does not provide for a pathway to proscribing the IRGC, the Australian Jewish News reported.
“As an organ of a nation-state, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is not the kind of entity that is covered by the terrorist organization provisions in the Criminal Code,” the AGD said on Tuesday.
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry’s co-CEO Peter Wertheim nonetheless praised the committee’s report for listing measures that can be taken immediately against the Iranian regime, including further sanctions and kicking Iran off the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
“While an entire nation or its government cannot constitute a terrorist organization under Australian law, there is no reason why a discrete agency of a government, with its own constitution and organizational structure, cannot be designated as such,” Wertheim told the Jewish News.
The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) urged the Australian government to amend the criminal code to allow for the banning of the IRGC as a terrorist entity.
“We welcome the committee’s recommendation that the Australian government should officially categorize the IRGC as a terrorist organization, and urge the Australian government to amend legislation to allow the IRGC to be proscribed here, as it is in other countries,” ZFA public affairs director Bren Carlill told the outlet.