By Ahmad Rafat
The UK government plans to designate the Wagner Group, a Russian state-funded private military company, a terrorist organization on Sept. 13.
Under the Terrorism Act 2000, being a member of the Wagner Group or supporting the organization could carry a 14-year prison sentence and a fine of 5,000 pounds ($6,200). The law will enable the UK Home Secretary to designate a group that severely threatens the country’s national security as a terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, the UK government is reluctant to declare the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organization, despite an overwhelming vote in January in the House of Commons to include it on the list of terrorist entities.
The members of the lower house of the British Parliament approved a proposal, calling for the IRGC, the most powerful military force in Iran, to be designated a terrorist organization. If implemented, supporting the organization would make it a criminal offense.
British Home Secretary Suella Braverman reportedly believes that the IRGC poses the “greatest threat” to UK national security.
“The Iranian threat is the one that worries us the most,” the Sunday Times quoted a source close to the Home Secretary as saying. “It is a big issue because they are getting much more aggressive, increasing their appetite. They are very defensive to anyone challenging their regime and want to stamp it out. They are increasing their agitation.”
The source warned that Iranian agents had recruited local criminal gangs to target members of the Iranian opposition in the UK.
In February of this year, UK counterterrorism police said police and security services had foiled 15 plots to kidnap and assassinate British or UK-based individuals whom Iran deemed “enemies of the regime.”