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  • Masoud Dalvand 6:46 am on October 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Expell IRGC, , , IRGC, , , , , ,   

    Terrorist Training Camps in Iran operated by IRGC 

    Terrorist Training Camp in Iran by IRGC

    The book details how Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps trains foreign fighters in 15 various camps in Iran to export terrorism. The IRGC has created a large directorate within its extraterritorial arm, the Quds Force, in order to expand its training of foreign mercenaries as part of the strategy to step up its meddling abroad in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan and elsewhere. This book explains the kind of training is provided in each camp, who the trainers are, where they are dispatched to, as well as satellite imagery of the locations of these camps all over the country.

    For buying the book go to the below link:

    The Video about :

    Terrorist Training Camps in Iran operated by IRGC

    This short, stunning video shows how Iran has been training foreign terrorists in Iran and dispatching them across the globe; and it is doing it to date. Iran has caused the rise of ISIS, and remains the single most active state-sponsor of terrorism in the world. The Annual report on terrorism by the United States Government has referred to Iran as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2016. The United States says that Iran also employs foreign nationals. But how does Iran recruit? And how does Iran train its pawns to carry out its operations? Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the IRGC, has its own extraterritorial arm, known as the Quds force, which is involved in military and terrorist interference in several countries in the Middle East and around the globe. The IRGC was established to preserve the regime’s dictatorship, which rests on suppression within Iran; the export of terrorism beyond Iran’s borders; and the Iranian program to manufacture a nuclear bomb. The IRGC actively organizes terrorist networks and conducts terrorist operations throughout the world. Sources of Iran’s opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, have discovered ironclad evidence of at least 15 terrorist training camps spread across the nation, including 8 centered around Tehran Terrorist units of the Quds Force are trained in secret units for dispatch to various countries in the Persian Gulf, Asia, Africa, and even Latin America. Forces initially undergo a body-building boot camp for one week. IRGC mercenaries are then sent to theoretical courses, promoting fundamentalism and terrorism. They are subsequently sent to other training centers for practical training. Of the 15 training camps spread across Iran, certain garrisons specialize in specific terrorist training, including urban warfare, guerilla training, driving courses and various vehicle maneuvering instruction. Trainees also undergo courses in wilderness survival and even in advanced missile training. Through the Quds force, the IRGC looks to take advantage of instability wherever it can. After training recruits in both Islamic fundamentalism and in combat techniques, trainees are sent abroad to meddle in foreign conflicts. In Yemen, Iran continues to back the Houthi rebels, increasing instability in the Arabian Peninsula. In Syria, IRGC mercenaries continue to fight the Free Syrian Army, propping up Assad’s murderous regime; while at the same time, allowing ISIS to fester. And in Iraq, the IRGC plants terrorists and bomb makers within the domestic unrest of the nation, which has led to the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers abroad, as well as tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. IRGC is the main source of sectarian violence in Iraq, which has led to the rise of ISIS. The IRGC even devised a terrorist scheme within U.S. borders, when in 2011, IRGC terrorists plotted to blow up a Washington, DC restaurant. The United States needs to view the IRGC as a terrorist enemy and not an ally under any circumstances. It is time for the U.S. Government to subject, not just the IRGC, but all its affiliate entities in Iran who dominate the economy and the financial market as well as all its proxies in the region to terrorism-related sanctions. The IRGC must be expelled from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon as a first step to securing peace and stability in the region.
    Source: NCRI- US 
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  • Masoud Dalvand 8:34 pm on October 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , IRGC, , ,   

    Trump prepares to wound Iran deal- and then save it 

    Trump

    As a candidate, President Donald Trump described the agreement as “catastrophic” and “the worst deal ever.” | Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

    The president’s national security team finds a way for Trump to wound ‘the worst deal ever’ without killing it.

    Donald Trump’s national security team has unanimously recommended that he decertify the Iran nuclear deal — but that he stop short of pushing Congress to reimpose sanctions on Tehran that could unravel the agreement.

    Trump’s team plans to work with Congress and European allies to apply new pressure on the Iranian regime, according to a strategy developed in an Iran policy review led by national security adviser H.R. McMaster. But the strategy assumes the nuclear deal will remain intact for now.

    The deliberations ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal, a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy agenda, were described by a half-dozen sources inside and outside the administration who have participated in the internal debate.

    As a candidate, Trump described the agreement as “catastrophic” and “the worst deal ever.” But the strategy represents a nuanced approach to one of the most important foreign policy decisions of his early presidency. The goal is to allow the president to demonstrate contempt for the agreement and broadcast a new level of toughness toward the Iranian regime — without triggering the international chaos several of his advisers warn would follow from a total withdrawal from the 2015 deal.

    Administration officials cautioned that the strategy has not yet been finalized, and that it could change before the president makes an official announcement.

    But Secretary of Defense James Mattis hinted at the approach early Tuesday when he told a congressional panel that he believes the deal is in America’s interest and that Trump should “consider staying in.” Appearing alongside him, Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the agreement has “delayed the development of a nuclear capability by Iran.”

    Though their rhetoric was far more positive about the deal itself than Trump’s, it is consistent with a White House strategy of decertifying the agreement without pushing Congress to dissolve it through sanctions — and may preview an administration effort to signal to Congress and U.S. allies that Trump is not withdrawing from the deal.

    Iran has warned that if the U.S. reimposes sanctions, Tehran might restart its nuclear program. Some experts and former Obama officials say that could begin a spiral toward possible military confrontation.

    Congress requires the president to certify Iranian compliance with the deal every 90 days. International inspectors and Trump officials like Dunford say that Iran is meeting its technical obligations. But Trump must also declare whether the agreement remains “vital to the national security interests of the United States,” and he is unlikely to do so.

    Under the law, Congress would then have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions lifted by the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in return for limits on Iran’s nuclear program.

    Trump is expected to act as early as next week, though White House officials said an exact date has not been set. After he does, administration officials are expected to press Republican lawmakers not to reimpose nuclear sanctions, which would effectively unravel the agreement in the eyes of the Iranian government and many U.S. allies.

    In return, Trump officials, led by McMaster, plan to reassure congressional Republicans — virtually all of whom opposed the deal — with a pressure campaign against Iran.

    That campaign is at the heart of McMaster’s policy review, due Oct. 31, which has been conducted quietly as the debate over the nuclear deal has played out in public. The new policy is expected to target Iranian-backed militias and terrorist groups, including Lebanon-based Hezbollah, and the financial web that facilitates them.

    Of particular focus will be the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the administration will designate as a foreign terrorist organization, the first time the military wing of a regime will have earned the label.

    The IRGC is the country’s most powerful security organization but also controls large portions of the Iranian economy. The U.S. designated the IRGC’s elite Quds Force as a terrorist group in 2007, and the IRGC itself has been sanctioned for nuclear proliferation and for human-rights abuses. But the entire IRGC has never been designated a terrorist group.

    Critics of the deal are taking a wait-and-see approach to the new strategy. “Just going after the IRGC, while certainly having a lot of virtues, it’s not a complete strategy. … The IRGC has a very large presence in Syria. What are you going to do about that? You have to see how the pieces all fit together,” said Eric Edelman, who served as undersecretary of defense for policy in the George W. Bush administration.

    Trump has twice certified Iran’s compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal, first in April and then in July. But he bridled in July when advisers presented him with a binary choice of certifying or decertifying.

    During an Oval Office meeting with Tillerson, McMaster and former presidential advisers Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, Trump unleashed a tirade in which he demanded more options and adamantly refused to recertify the deal. Tillerson and McMaster warned him that if he declined to do so, and Congress moved to reimpose sanctions, he would spend the rest of his term embroiled in a bitter debate over the merits of the agreement with allies and foes alike.

    The president ultimately bowed to his advisers, but only after what one senior administration official described as a “knock-down, drag-out fight” that lasted several hours.

    “If it was up to me, I would have had them noncompliant 180 days ago,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal shortly after the Oval Office meeting. “I think they’ll be noncompliant” by the next deadline, he said.

    McMaster has worked for months to produce what White House officials consider a third option that avoids Trump’s previous frustration. Neither the White House nor the NSC responded to requests for comment.

    “One of the options [presented to the president] is to decertify, continue to waive the statutory sanctions, slap on new non-nuclear sanctions, roll out a new strategy, and then make the case to the Hill that this is not the time to reinstate the nuclear sanctions and there will be a broader strategy to strengthen the deal,” said an Iran policy expert familiar with the administration’s thinking on the issue.

    Mattis, McMaster and other administration officials privately complain that the Obama administration allowed the nuclear deal to distort its wider policy toward Tehran, and have told Trump it is possible to challenge Iran on other fronts without breaking the agreement.

    Inside the administration, the debate pitted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who favored recertification, against others who subscribed to the views expressed by Mattis and McMaster. A smaller camp, including U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, pushed hard for decertification.

    In the end, the recommendation from the president’s national security team, which last met about a month ago to discuss the issue, was unanimous. Though Tillerson continues to favor recertification, according to two administration officials, one said that he disagrees with the president on so many issues that he has learned to “pick and choose his battles.” When it became clear that the rest of the president’s advisers were coalescing around a third option, he opted to sign on.

    The question is how congressional Republicans, particularly foreign policy hawks, will respond to the White House’s pleas. Administration officials have not yet begun making their case to GOP senators, many of whom campaigned against the Iran deal.

    They include Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who, in remarks Tuesday evening to the Council on Foreign Relations, was to push Congress to “begin the work of strengthening it and counteracting Iranian aggression, with the threat of sanctions and military action if necessary,” according to advance excerpts of his remarks.

    Originally published at: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/03/trump-iran-nuclear-deal-243427

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 4:37 pm on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 9/11, , IRGC, September11th,   

    Revisiting Iran’s 9/11 connection 

    By Heshmat Alavi Special to Al Arabiya English Monday, 11 September 2017

    16 years have passed since that tragic day, September 11, 2001, when over 3,000 innocent people lost their lives in the “the largest mass casualty terrorist attack in US history.” The course of modern history changed as we know it.For more than 15 of these past years the policy of appeasement has withheld the international community from adopting the will needed to bring all the perpetrators of this hideous crime to justice.

    Iran has a history of fueling foreign crises to avoid responding to its own domestic concerns. 9/11 provided the window of opportunity to derail world attention to other states and buy Tehran crucially needed time.

    Unfortunately, the regime ruling Iran has been the main benefactor of the 9/11 aftermath. As a result of two wars in the Middle East the entire region has been left wide open for Tehran to take advantage of and spread its sinister ideology and sectarianism.

    It is hence necessary to highlight Iran’s role in 9/11 attacks and demand the senior Iranian regime hierarchy involved in blueprinting and implementing this attack to be held accountable before the law.

    Warmongering history

    For the past four decades Iran has been ruled by a clerical regime that is simply incapable of providing the society’s needs and demands. To this end, Tehran has resorted to a policy of exporting the “Islamic Revolution” by meddling in neighboring and distant countries to create havoc.

    History has recorded how Iraq invaded Iranian territories and caused the beginning of the devastating eight-year-long Iran-Iraq War. Several months before Iraq launched its military attack, Ayatollah Khomeini, accused of hijacking Iran’s 1979 revolution, described then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as a “hypocrite” and a “threat for the Iraqi people.”

    Khomeini went as far as calling on the Iraqi people to “place their entire efforts behind destroying this dangerous individual” and the Iraqi army to “flee their forts” and to “rise and destroy this corrupt individual, and appoint another individual in his place. We will support you in this regard.”

    Fast forward more than two decades, and again with Iraq in its crosshairs, Iran began what has been described as a very complicated effort to literally deceive the US intelligence community.

    Ahmad Challabi, dubbed as “The Manipulator” by The New Yorker, was Iran’s front man in feeding the US false information regarding Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction to justify Washington’s 2003 invasion of Iraq. The war ultimately eliminated the main obstacle before Iran’s hidden occupation of Iraq and full blown meddling across the Middle East.

    Looking further west in the region, Iran ordered Bashar Assad in Syria and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to facilitate the escape of thousands of al-Qaeda prisoners. This development, parallel to the ruthless crackdown of the two countries’ Sunni communities, led to the rise of ISIS.

    This entire episode provided Iran the necessary pretext to justify its presence in Iraq and Syria, especially through tens of thousands of proxy forces.

    Iran’s Revolutionary Guard troops march, during a military parade commemorating the start of the Iraq-Iran war 32 years ago, in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, on Sept. 21, 2012. (AP)

    The 9/11 facts

    bipartisan commission in Washington investigated the 9/11 attacks reported strong evidenceexists showing Iran “facilitated the transit of al-Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers.”

    Up to 10 of the 14 hijackers involved in 9/11, and specifically behind obtaining control of the four aircrafts, were allowed passage through Iran from October 2000 to February 2001. Reports indicate Iran has a history of ordering certain instructions to not harass transiting al-Qaeda members.

    Such documents also show Iran’s offspring, the Lebanese Hezbollah, trained alongside al-Qaeda members during the 1990s, leading to the former possibly adopting the latter’s suicide bombing tactics.

    “…al-Qaeda may have collaborated with Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, a key American military barracks in Saudi Arabia. Previously, the attack had been attributed only to Hezbollah, with Iranian support,” according to a TIME report.

    Evidence shows that five years later, “Iran and Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah being involved ‘firsthand’ in the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” an Al Arabiya feature said.

    Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with Revolutionary Guard commander Mohammad Ali Jafari on May 20, 2015. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File)

    Facilitation and execution

    In early 2016, Judge George Daniels of New York “condemned Iran for facilitating the execution of the terrorist attacks that hit both New York and Washington.” This lawsuit provided an in-depth look into nearly 300 cases of Iran’s involvement in funding terrorism and collaborating with terror organizations, including al-Qaeda.

    “The trial revealed that bin Laden, current leader of al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri, Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh – assassinated in 2008 – and other Iranian attaches had met in Sudan to establish an alliance supporting terrorism,” the piece adds.

    To those who may argue Shiite Iran would never support a Sunni al-Qaeda, it is hardly unprecedented to find such backing by Tehran for non-Shiite terror groups. Sunni terrorists that share Iran’s goals, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, alongside those who target US interests, have for long enjoyed Iran’s support.

    As mentioned above, “Iran also played an important role in supporting al-Qaeda in Iraq, the progenitor of ISIS. As Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan noted in their 2015 book ‘ISIS: Insider the Army of Terror,’ AQI head Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was ‘based in Iran and northern Iraq’ for ‘about a year’ after fleeing Afghanistan following the arrival of US-led coalition forces in Operation Enduring Freedom,” according to The Washington Times.

    As cited earlier, Iran also stands accused of having “foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks,” according to a 2011 court filing quoting two Iranian intelligence service defectors. These individuals were “in positions that gave them access to sensitive information regarding Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism,” the piece continues.

    The court went on to demand damages due to Iran’s “direct support for, and sponsorship of, the most deadly act of terrorism in American history,” according to The New York Times. The suit also contends that in addition to facilitating the 9/11 hijackers training and travel, Iran and Hezbollah played an important role in the escaping of numerous al-Qaeda operatives by providing safe haven inside Iran.

    “… 9/11 depended upon Iranian assistance to Al Qaeda in acquiring clean passports and visas to enter the United States,” the NYT cited Thomas E. Mellon Jr., a former lawyer for the 9/11 victims’ families, saying by quoting ten specialists working on Iran and terrorism.

    “I am convinced that our evidence is absolutely real—that Iran was a participant in the preparations for 9/11,” Mellon said in another interview with The Daily Beast.

    “Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement, and they have to do that,” Trump said. (AFP)

    Lack of will

    Iran would have every interest in facilitating the 9/11 attacks to divert international attention onto its rivals, while providing the opportunity for its forces and proxies to take full advantage of rendering mayhem across the region. A glance of the current status in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon proves this point.

    For too long investigations have failed to shed the necessary light into Iran’s role into the 9/11 attacks. Even the Commission, accused of never properly grappling the question of Iran’s knowledge prior to 9/11, nearly neglected very important facts gathered by the US National Security Agency about Tehran’s deep involvement in this regard.

    The Commission “failed to delve into the files of the National Security Agency, where the Iran intelligence was waiting to be discovered, until the final stages of the commission’s inquiry,” according to Philip Shenon’s The Daily Beast article.

    “… my suspicions are that the Iranians were probably much more involved than we are led to believe,” Middle East political scientist Dr. Joseph A. Kéchichian said to Al Arabiya.

    Staffers formerly working for the 9/11 commission have complained that much of the remaining NSA’s pre-9/11 terrorism database has gone un-reviewed to this very day. This goes as far as suggesting a long slate of 9/11 secrets may have remained hidden for the past 16 years. Do we not owe more to the 9/11 victims and their families?

    There is promise seen in the new US administration as it continues to turn up the heat on Iran. Yet until a lack of will prevents the launching of a new genuine inquiry into Iran’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks, it is up to us writers and journalists to dig deep and expose Tehran’s relations with terror groups across the globe, especially those involved in the horrific acts that changed our world 16 years ago today.

    All this becomes ever so necessary as Tehran covertly pursues its nuclear weapons drive and overtly seeks payload delivery capability through ballistic missiles. We must learn from the mistakes made in regards to North Korea and go the limits to prevent a rogue regime such as Iran from going down the same path.

    Originally published in english.alarabiya

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:32 pm on August 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , IRGC,   

    ANALYSIS: Is this the beginning of a new era for Iraq without Iran? 

    The military phase of the fight against ISIS is winding down after the liberation of Mosul, and the battle for the nearby town of Tal Afar is predicted to end soon. This has provided an opportunity for Iraq to begin distancing itself from the influence gained by Iran following the disastrous 2003 war, and returning to its […]

    via ANALYSIS: Is this the beginning of a new era for Iraq without Iran? — Iran Commentary

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:32 am on July 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , IRGC, ,   

    First New Iran Regime Sanctions Since Nuclear Deal Passed 

    The bill also sanctions anyone associated with(IRGC) or anyone whom the US determines is complicit in Iranian human rights violations

    IRAN, 25 July 2017The bill also sanctions anyone associated with Iran regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)

    To impose additional sanctions on Iran’s defense sector, The House voted 419-3 (25 July 2017) moving the bill forward to be approved by President Trump.

    While there are some slight modifications to the bill’s sanctions on Russia, the language on Iran is undistinguishable to the version the Senate passed 98-2 in June. Like its Senate counterpart, the House bill would block the assets of any individual who works with Iran on its ballistic missile program or sells it arms.

    The bill also sanctions anyone associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or anyone whom the US determines is complicit in Iranian human rights violations. Anyone sanctioned under the act may be removed after a five-year review.

    Although the Senate had already voted in favor of the sanctions package on June 15 by 98-2, the House has tacked an additional set of provisions sanctioning North Korea onto the bill, forcing the upper chamber to vote once more. The House has already passed the North Korea sanctions separately by a vote of 419-1, but the Senate has not yet taken it up.

    Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., negotiated with the House over the weekend alongside the committee’s ranking member, Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md., to reach consensus.

    Corker stated: while the Senate is close to approving the House package, the addition of the North Korea sanctions could cause further delays before the long-awaited sanctions finally make their way to the White House.

    “We’re about there,” Corker told reporters. “It depends on a couple of things we’re looking at on the North Korea piece, so it’s not fully worked out. … We’re talking through some procedural issues right now, but we had a very good weekend and are very, very close to having it fully resolved.”

    Nonetheless, Senate Democrats are eager to vote on the sanctions and deliver it to the president before the August recess.

    “It is critical that the Senate act promptly on that legislation,” said Schumer. “I will work with the majority leader to ensure its swift passage so that we can get it to the president’s desk before we leave for the recess.”

    The White House is supportive of taking a harder line against Iran but had initially opposed the bill as it would require Congress to approve any removal of sanctions on Russia. However, the White House changed its tune over the weekend with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place.”

    And while president Trump has twice certified that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA, most recently last week, he only did so after a lengthy internal debate inside the administration.

    Foreign Policy reported last week that Trump has asked his aides to make a credible case for declining to recertify that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA. The administration must certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA every 90 days

    Source: First New Iran Regime Sanctions Since Nuclear Deal Passed

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:29 am on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , IRGC, , ,   

    Today’s sanctions has to be complimented by blacklisting IRGC 

    Shahin Gobadi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran comments on the designation of 18 entities and individuals affiliated with the Iranian regime for their role in exporting terrorism and in the drive to proliferate ballistic missiles and underscores that todays’ measure has to be complimented by designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:44 am on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , IRGC, ,   

    Blacklisting of Iran’s Terrorists Long Overdue 

    by Heshmat Alavi

    US President Donald Trump sent a very strong message in his ordering of a volley of cruise missiles targeting an airbase of Bashar Assad’s military in Syria. While there are many parties involved in the Levant mayhem, the main target of this message was the regime in Iran, as it has been Assad’s most crucial ally during the past six years of war.

    Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been stationed in Syria from early on, buttressing Assad’s regime years before Russia began its campaign of supporting the regime in Damascus.

    Parallel to its meddling throughout the Middle East and even beyond, the IRGC has also spearheaded the mullahs’ deadly crackdown of the Iranian people in their endless pursuit of freedom, democracy and due civil liberties.

    The IRGC began its foreign meddling from the very early days of the mullahs’ rule in Iran. Seeds were planted in Lebanon by grouping a variety of Shiite terrorist groups under one leadership, known as the Lebanese Hezbollah. The IRGC was, and is today, behind financing, training, arming and directing all Hezbollah activities.

    In October 1983, a Hezbollah suicide bomber guided a heavy truck into a US Marine barracks in Beirut and staged a massive blast that took the lives of 241 American servicemen. In response, the Reagan administration in 1984 designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism. This classification stands ground as we speak.

    The Quds Force, known as the spear of the IRGC’s international efforts, was also blacklisted in 2007 by the Bush White House. The Quds Force played a major role in launching proxy groups in Iraq targeting American and other coalition forces.

    Today, Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani has become a critical figure for the Iranian regime, resembling the face of Iran’s reach abroad. He is known to lead Iran’s efforts in Iraq and Syria, especially, in a campaign aimed at fortifying Tehran’s interests. The Quds Force is specifically fueling sectarian mentalities, pinning Shiites against Sunnis and launching the most horrific massacres amongst peoples who were living in peace alongside each other for centuries.

    Iran’s terrorism reach expanded far beyond the Middle East, including the September 1992 Mykonos restaurant assassination of dissidents in Berlin and the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

    Domestically, the IRGC is also the main entity enforcing the mullahs’ crackdown on a restive society, described as a powder keg, demanding true freedoms, civil liberties and to live under an actual democracy.

    July 8th marked the passage of 18 years from the 1999 student uprising in Iran that rocked the very pillars of the mullahs’ rule. Orders were issued to the IRGC paramilitary Bassij thugs to pour into the streets and attack the protesting college students. Many were killed, thousands injured, scores more arrested and tortured in prisons. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, then secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council, personally ordered the crackdown.

    Today, the same oppressive machine is behind a massive execution spree across the country. Rouhani’s first term as president was riddled with over 3,000 executions. 238 executions have been registered in the first six months of 2017. This period has witnessed 12 public executions, including seven women and three individuals arrested as juveniles at the time of their alleged crimes.

    129 of these executions have been based on drug charges and it is worth noting that 5,000 inmates are currently on death row under similar circumstances. These executions are in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

    In the second half of 2017, we will most likely and unfortunately witness a more horrendous wave of executions. The first five days of July already bore witness to 22 executions, two being in public.

    The IRGC’s role in domestic crackdown dates back to the very early days of the mullahs’ foundation. The most horrific episode can be described as the summer 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners. Victims consisted mostly of members and supporters of Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

    To this end it is high time for US, European Union, United Nations and all Middle East and Islamic countries to designate the IRGC based on its true characteristic: a terrorist organization.

    The IRGC is a proven threat to global security and stages ruthless attacks against Iranians inside the country. As a result, the terrorist designation of this entity is long overdue.


    Originally published at http://www.algemeiner.com on July 14, 2017.

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:29 pm on July 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , IRGC, , ,   

    Iran using US victories over ISIS to control Middle East 

    2

    by Russ Read
    Iran is using the ongoing to offensive against the Islamic State to establish one its top priorities — control over the Middle East from its own borders to the Mediterranean Sea. U.S.-backed forces participating in Operation Inherent Resolve have steadily increased their victories over the Islamic State in the past year, giving Iran an opportunity to create what is known as a “land bridge” to its allies in Syria and Lebanon.
    As U.S. victories increase, so too does Iranian influence.“Advances by Iranian allies and proxies appear intended to help Iran establish a secure land corridor extending from Iran to Lebanon, enabling Iran to better supply its main regional ally, Lebanese Hezbollah, which supports pro-Iranian forces in Syria,” said the Soufan Group, a strategic security intelligence firm, in a brief published Wednesday.
    This land bridge serves a dual purpose: first, it allows Iran to provide Hezbollah with weapons and supplies without risking detection by Israel. Second, it expands Iran’s political influence across the Middle East.
    The invasion of Iraq in 2003 opened up a major opportunity for Iran. Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was a sworn Iranian enemy, and with him out of the way, the Islamic Republic could attempt to sow influence over Iraq’s majority Shiite Muslim population. The rise of ISIS was even more favorable to the Iranian cause. Iraq’s decision to incorporate the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) into the Iraqi Security Forces in response to the ISIS juggernaut entrenched Iranian influence in the armed forces.
    Indeed, the Iraqi commander of the PMUs has praised Iran’s role in supporting his forces. Iran has been happy to portray itself as a liberator.
    “We thank (Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah) Seyed Ali Khamenei and (Secretary General of Hezbollah) Sayed Hassan Nasrallah for supporting us in the fight against Daesh,” said Popular Mobilization Committee head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on Monday, as reported by Iranian government affiliated Tasnim News.
    The U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization, and Muhandis was convicted for helping plan the bombings of the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait in 1983.
    Iran wasted no time sending Qassem Soleimani, the notorious leader of its Quds Force, to Iraq to aid in retaking the country from ISIS. Soleimani has not shied away from Iran’s gains since — in fact, he has publicly acknowledged that Iran’s support for proxy groups from the Palestinian territories to Iraq has increased its regional influence.
    Like ISIS, Iran’s proxies intentional provoking sectarian conflict in order to seize power. As the Soufan Group noted, Iranian and Hezbollah-supported militias in Syria have intentionally pushed against ISIS in Sunni Muslim areas, driving out inhabitants. The PMUs in Iraq have also been a cause for concern. Sunni politicians in Iraq are apprehensive that the PMUs could ignite sectarian conflict in the early days after the end of an operation to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city which has a Sunni majority.
    PMU members had previously been accused of serious human rights abuses in other captured areas across Iraq. As a result, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi claimed the PMUs would not be allowed to enter Mosul. However, PMU leaders pushed to be included in its liberation. Undeterred, their forces have a major presence around the city’s surrounding outskirts.
    The liberation of Mosul on Saturday presents a potential flash point as the common fight against ISIS could be replaced with sectarian conflict. Arab countries across the region have already voiced their concern over Iran’s meddling in the Middle East, and the remnants of Iraq could only exacerbate that problem at a regional level. With a limited footprint in the region, the U.S. ability to prevent such a situation is extremely limited
    originally published in dailycaller
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 11:49 am on June 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , IRGC, , ,   

    Yemen: A new Mideast flash point? 

    Saudi army tanks are seen deployed near the Saudi-Yemeni border,
    Saudi army tanks are seen deployed near the Saudi-Yemeni border,

    By Heshmat Alavi


    American Thinker, June 14,  2017
     – With the new U.S. administration blueprinting its Iran policy after escalating developments in Syria and the recent attacks in Tehran, one major battleground between the two arch-rivals is set to be Yemen.  Sitting at the opening of a major waterway through which a significant amount of the world’s seabound oil flows, this country of 27 million has been war-torn and desperately grappling with a famine currently risking the lives of 7 million people.
    All the while, Iran and its offspring terror organization, the Lebanese Hezb’allah, are escalating their meddling in a war that has already left more than 10,000 killed and literally leveled the country’s already poor infrastructure.
    And while the United Nations has issued pleas for support to boost the efforts of humanitarian aid organizations, signs show that Iran and its Houthi proxies are ignoring these calls.  The larger picture of the Middle East power struggle is casting a long shadow over this entire nation.  It is, however, worth noting that the Saudi-led coalition welcomed a U.N. proposal to hand the port city of Hodeidah, currently the country’s lifeline, to a neutral third party to supervise the urgent flow of humanitarian aid into Yemen.
    The Iran-backed Ansar Allah militia group, aka the Houthis, will most likely turn down the proposals.  Such a handover would render the loss of their last remaining port in Yemen, choking the flow of Iran-supplied arms and ammunition.  It is a known fact that Iran’s involvement in Yemen is in line with its broader strategy of encircling the entire Arabian peninsula and upping pressure on its regional arch-rival, Saudi Arabia.
    Iran seeks the destabilization of the Gulf States and to ultimately obtain the capability of replacing these governments with rulers loyal to the Islamic Republic’s doctrine.  Iraq is a vivid example of how Iran usurped the opportunity of the 2003 invasion to cast its shadow over this nation, especially during the eight years of former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and eight years of Obama’s Chamberlain-style appeasement.
    This is the very philosophy behind establishing and procuring terror cells with the objective of purging government officials and staging attacks targeting the infrastructure of various states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, and the UAE.  Bahrain, particularly, in March busted a terrorist cell linked to Hezb’allah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
    It is a known fact that the IRGC and Hezb’allah are present in Yemen, with their troops and foot soldiers fighting alongside Houthis, parallel to providing much needed training and advice to these forces.
    The number of Hezb’allah fighters being captured is on the rise, with such statistics in the first three months of 2017 matching the entire course of 2016.  The death toll of Hezb’allah and IRGC forces also escalated in the first quarter of 2017.
    More Iranian equipment across scattered front lines in Yemen is being discovered by advancing Yemeni and Saudi forces.  Further concerning is the fact that Iranian weapons convoys and shipments, consisting of drones and high-tech missiles, have been intercepted on the Yemen-Oman border.
    Maritime traffic snaking the Yemeni coast lengthwise has experienced a dangerous rise in attacks staged by the Iranian IRGC and Hezb’allah.  Advisers to these two sources are busily training Houthis how to develop sophisticated drone boats packed with explosives and how to lay mines in Yemen’s Red and Arabian Sea waters.
    Recent reports in the media shed light on the Houthis launching their first such attack, targeting an oil tanker in the southern Bab el-Mandeb Strait.  Assailants of unknown identity fired rocket-propelled grenades – a favorite tactic of insurgents – at the 70,362-ton M.T. Muskie, sailing under the Marshall Islands flag, using the strategic waterway heading into the Red Sea entrance, according to Reuters.
    Involvement in the attack was denied by the Houthis, despite a history of evidence showing these Iran-supplemented proxies staging attacks on various navy vessels using the narrow water passage.  The Houthis are also known to have direct interest in disturbing the flow of Bab el-Mandeb’s maritime traffic to provide Tehran unprecedented influence over the Red Sea and up north to the Suez Canal .
    As tensions continue to escalate in this vital corner of the globe, it becomes imperative for the international community, and especially U.S. allies in the region, to take urgent action against Iran’s meddling, with the aim of curbing its dangerous influence and establishing peace and tranquility in the Middle East.

    Heshmat Alavi is a political and rights activist.  His writing focuses on Iran, including human rights violations, social crackdown, the regime’s support for terrorism and meddling in foreign countries, and the controversial nuclear program.  He tweets at @HeshmatAlavi and blogs at IranCommentary.

    Source:  Yemen: A new Mideast flash point?

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:56 pm on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , IRGC   

    How Iran’s Mullahs Welcome The ISIS Attack 

    By Heshmat Alavi

    By Heshmat Alavi

    A total of six assailants armed with AK47 rifles and explosive vests launched two simultaneous attacks in Tehran targeting two heavily secured sites in the Iranian capital Wednesday morning. The unexpected twin assault left 17 killed and dozens more wounded in Iran’s parliament and the mausoleum of former Iranian regime leader Ruhollah Khomeini located south of the capital.

    “Islamic State claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament building and one body, apparently dead, on the floor,” according to Reuters in a wire from inside Iran.

    The attackers, disguised as women, apparently were able to find their way in the parliament through the main entrance, the semi-official Tasnim news agency cited Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari. Four hours into the entire rampage Iranian state media reported the incident over with all six assailants dead.

    Condemnations cross the board

    As ISIS claimed to have staged its first ever attack in Iran, the international community condemned this heinous act of terrorism. Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, condemned the loss of innocent lives.

    “ISIS’s conduct clearly benefits the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Khamenei, who wholeheartedly welcomes it as an opportunity to overcome his regime’s regional and international impasse and isolation. The founder and the number one state sponsor of terror is thus trying to switch the place of murderer and the victim and portray the central banker of terrorism as a victim,” Rajavi added.

    “To uproot terrorism in the region:

    • The IRGC must be designated as a terrorist entity.
    • The IRGC and paramilitary proxies of the Khamenei caliphate must be removed from Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
    • The Organization of Islamic Cooperation must expel the mullahs’ regime and recognize the Iranian Resistance for ending religious fascism.”

    Devious past

    However, there are also questions about the suspicious nature of this entire attack, especially considering the heavily fortified status of the two sites. One of the wounded individuals said in an interview people cannot bring even a pen into the parliament without passing through security.

    There are also widespread signs seen in social media users inside Iran expressing uncertainty over ISIS being behind the attack.

    There seems to be a general lack of trust on official sources. This is not without precedent.

    Iran is also known to resort to such brutal tactics to tarnish the image of its opposition. In 1994 a staged bombing of the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, northeast Iran, was staged by Iranian intelligence, leaving 25 dead and more than 300 injured. Iranian authorities immediately claimed of arresting the culprit and he confessed that he was a member of the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The PMOI, however, condemned the attack. Some years later it was publicly acknowledged that the bombing of Imam Reza’s shrine, similar to the murder of three Christian priests, also been blamed on the PMOI/MEK, had been planned and carried out by the Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) to tarnish the image of the group.

    Paving the path

    It is expected that authorities shall certainly use this incident to increase the level domestic suppression.

    Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in his first remarks following the attacks, specifically said, “When the central apparatus has such disorders, then you are weapons free.” Khamenei also used the term “soft war officers,” in a reference to principalists and hardcore elements of the Revolutionary Guards Basij paramilitary units, according to the BBC Farsi.

    Iranian officials will take advantage of such a turn of events to justify their escalating intervention in Iraq, Syria and Yemen and counter growing popular opposition to its meddling in other states, while the country is in deep economic crisis and poverty is widespread. It is also feared that this incident may be used by Tehran to fuel sectarian wars across the region. Iran is known to support the Shiite Hashid al-Sha’bi in Iraq against ISIS and the minority Sunni community; Shiite Houthis to oust the legitimate government of Yemen and threaten its regional archrival Saudi Arabia; and Shiite militias from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to prop up the Assad regime against Syrian opposition forces and innocent people under the pretext of fighting ISIS.

    Iran has blamed not only ISIS but also the United Sates and Saudi Arabia for the terror attack in Tehran. This is the Iranian regime in practice preparing the grounds for terrorist attacks across the Middle East against its rivals. However, this is the topic of an entire different discussion in the future.

    Broader threats

    A dangerous outcome of this incident would be the provision of ample opportunity to the Revolutionary Guards and Quds Force to escalate their regional meddling and demand more foothold.

    View image on Twitter

    Rest assured the Iranian regime will seek to capitalize this turn of events to boost the very pillars of its establishment, especially after the crisis-riddled presidential election where Khamenei failed to have his preferred candidate, conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, replace the incumbent Hassan Rouhani.

    The mullahs in Tehran will no doubt increase their nationwide crackdown measures through the police and intelligence apparatus, boost their meddling through proxy forces across the region and press the gas pedal on the ballistic missile program.

    A picture taken on June 7, 2017 shows ambulances and police arriving at the scene outside Iranian parliament in the capital Tehran during an attack on the complex. Gunmen and suicide bombers carried out coordinated attacks on Iran’s parliament and the tomb of revolutionary founder Ruhollah Khomeini on June 7, 2017, state media reported, killing at least three people. / AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

    Source: How Iran’s Mullahs Welcome The ISIS Attack

     
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