According to Wikipedia, in Europe only one country designates the IRGC as terrorist: Sweden since May 2023. When the US declared the IRGC terrorists in 2019, Iran retaliated symbolically by declaring the US Central Command terrorists. (I don't mean to imply the conflict stopped there. E.g., in 2020, the US killed Soleimani, the commander of one of the 5 sub-divisions of the IRGC, holding him responsible for numerous attacks by Iranian proxies against US personnel, and Iran then fired ballistic missiles at Centcom bases in Iraq.)

How did Iran retaliate against Sweden's declaration of IRGC as terrorists, if they did it at all?

2 Answers 2


I don't believe there was any major retaliation, beyond a statement by Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemning the decision. There have been other more recent diplomatic incidents, such as Iran refusing to send their ambassador to Sweden, but this was more in retaliation to Quran burnings rather than the motion from Parliament.

This could be because despite Wikipedia's claim, the motion passed by the Swedish parliament was non-binding and merely called on the Government to work to create unity within the EU to list the IRGC as a terrorist organisation. The Riksdag website seems to be having a few issues right now, but an archived version of the motion can be viewed here. Despite the motion passing unanimously, neither the Swedish government nor the EU have designated the group as a terrorist organisation.


Tensions between the Islamic Republic and Sweden go beyond the designation of IRGC. In fact Sweden is the only European country that has stood up to Blackmail diplomacy of the Islamic Republic. Another case is the condemnation of Hamid Nouri, a judge responsible for the execution of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988 in Iran. Hamid Nouri was condemned to life imprisonment in Sweden in 2019.

On the other hand a Swedish citizen, Ahmad Reza Jalali is imprisoned and condemned to death in Iran since 2017.

Djalali was sentenced to death on 21 October 2017, on the charge of “corruption on earth” (ifsad fil-arz).He was then incarcerated at Evin prison.

The Islamic Republic hasn't yet taken any action except condemnation of Sweden and tries to use Jalali to put Sweden under pressure. This tactic has already worked for the Islamic Republic, the case of Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat who was implicated in a terrorist attempt in Europe is just one example. He was freed following a prisoner swap with Belgium:

On May 26, 2023 it was announced that Asadollah Asadi had been freed following a prisoner swap for Olivier Vandecasteele, a Belgian humanitarian worker who was arrested in Iran in 2022, charged with spying, money laundering and currency smuggling and sentenced to 40 years of prison in 2023 following a sham trial

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