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  • Masoud Dalvand 11:01 am on 4 Mar 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran Regime Lies About Arming Houthis 

    The Iranian Regime is once again lying about its involvement in the Yemeni war, which has caused thousands of deaths and triggered a humanitarian crisis; just days after Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have condemned Iran for supplying the Yemeni Houthis with weapons and missiles, in violation of an arms embargo.

    Bahram Qassemi, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, outright denied that Iran sent weapons to Yemen and accused the UK of “dishonest behaviour” for drafting the resolution.

    He said: “We don’t send weapons to Yemen. Such allegations and attempts are made to project the blame on others by those who want to use the existing situation against Iran. We are witnessing a [sic] dishonest behaviour from the British government that uses the international mechanisms to defend the aggressor despite its slogans about a peaceful settlement of the Yemen crisis.”

    He went on to claim that the situation in Yemen “is the result of the export of British and American arms”, but it is notable that UN experts have completed a report that found Iran was supplying military aid to the Houthis.

    It’s not a coincidence that these comments came just days after General Joseph Votel, head of the US Central Command in the Middle East, told the House Armed Services Committee that Iran was trying to turn Yemen into a client state, as it did with Lebanon, but in a much shorter timeframe.

    Votel said: “Iran has extended its tentacles across the region through numerous proxies, including Lebanese Hezbollah operating in multiple countries, hardline Iranian-backed Shia militia groups (SMGs) in Iraq and Syria, and Iranian support has enabled the Houthis.”

    This is not surprising when you listen to the recent comments of Ali Akbar Velayati, a foreign policy adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

    Velayati said: “Our presence in the region is inevitable. We will continue this process, so as to become the most decisive force in the region. We are present in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon…We help Yemen because it is our human duty to do so. Saudi Arabia must know that this ongoing process will make Yemen its Vietnam.”

    In this, Velayati is admitting that Iran deceives its enemies, when others claim that they are not building a coalition of Shiite forces in Syria and Iraq, and that Iran’s goal in aiding the Houthis is not aiding Yemen but hurting Saudi Arabia.

    Iran is gaining military dominance in Yemen in the same way that it did in Iraq, which makes it easy to see why the Houthis blocked a 2016 peace deal and why Iran is interfering in Iraq’s upcoming elections.

  • Masoud Dalvand 4:17 pm on 16 Feb 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    How The World Views Iran’s Role In Syria 

    By Heshmat Alavi

    As protests across Iran experience a variety of ups and downs following a major surge early this year, a wide array of analysts are seen writing about this important country’s domestic and foreign developments.

    More recently, concerns for Tehran are also increasing abroad as its international isolation begins to take its toll.

    To stand alongside the Iranian people, the international community must raise the cost of Tehran’s belligerence.

    In a piece some time ago I discussed How Iran Is Losing Europe, especially taking into consideration the distancing of France from Iran and President Emmanuelle Macron’s improving relations with the United States.

    Considering the fact that Iran’s economy is in desperate need of business ties with large French firms, such developments have become increasingly concerning for the Iranian regime’s ruling elite.

    President Macron recently threatened military action against the Assad regime in Syria, widely known to be remaining in power thanks to the support of Iran and Russia.

    “France will strike” if the Syrian conflict witnesses the use of chemical weapons against civilians, being in violation of international treaties, according to Reuters.

    “On chemical weapons, I set a red line and I reaffirm that red line,” Macron added. “If we have proven evidence that chemical weapons proscribed in treaties are used, we will strike the place where they are made.”

    Last May Macron emphasized chemical weapons use would represent a “red line” crossing. Updating his position, Macron took advantage of last Friday’s telephone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to weigh in grave concern over signs of chlorine bomb usage against civilians in Syria.

    In recent weeks, rescue workers and aid groups in Syria, and the U.S. government, have been accusing Damascus of repeatedly deploying chlorine gas as a chemical weapon against civilians in Ghouta and Idlib.

    This highly dangerous chemical substance, which Syria claims to possess legally for purposes such as water purification, can be lethal when used as a weapon and causes suffocation.

    The “Syrians for Truth and Justice” organization is reporting how missiles carrying poisonous gasses targeting Ghouta belonged to Iran:

    “According to Bellingcat, the munitions used in the February 1 attack are Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAMs), based on modified Iranian 107mm rockets. The standard warhead has been replaced with a large pressurized gas cylinder, and tail fins have been added to the rocket.”

    Such developments go alongside further troubles brewing for Iran, emanating from strong remarks by other senior U.S. officials and figures.

    Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence at a Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday:

    “Iran remains the most prominent state sponsor of terrorism, providing financial aid, advanced weapons and tactics, and direction to militant and terrorist groups across the Middle East and cultivating a network of operatives across the globe as a contingency to enable potential terrorist attacks.”

    In yet another reminder of Iran’s troubles regarding the controversial nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton emphasized in a FOX News TV interview of only three months remaining to U.S. President Donald Trump’s deadline regarding a decision over the accord’s future.

    Promises were made Tehran would join the community of civilized nations as a result of this deal. The result, however, has been anything but.

    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday renewed his government’s call on Iran to withdraw from Syria, accusing Tehran of destabilizing the Middle East through military presence.

    “Iran needs to withdraw its military, its militia from Syria, and allow a hope for the peace process to take hold in Geneva,” Tillerson emphasized at a news conference in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

    As argued extensively in the past, an interesting insight is now provided into how Washington can impose meaningful pressure on Tehran at a time when protesters are chanting for Iran’s regime to “Let go of Syria, think about us.”

    New York Post article reads in part:

    “Now is the time for Trump to re-establish a robust military deterrent toward Iranian expansionism in close collaboration with regional allies. His administration declared the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist entity in October, and he should target key Guards’ bases and weapons in Syria accordingly. Such an approach could help prevent a larger-scale conflict.”

    Iran understands how more money pumped abroad will flame their already crisis-riddled political status quo back home.

    Washington may particularly be focusing on also closing Iran’s “land bridge,” connecting Tehran to Damascus to easily influence the entire region and connect to the Mediterranean.

    Iran’s regime is very vulnerable following the recent uprising. Public unrest and the protesters’ demands for fundamental change are Tehran’s Achilles’ heel.

    Identifying and supporting the very element that can realize this change is crucial.


    via How The World Views Iran’s Role In Syria — Iran Commentary

  • Masoud Dalvand 8:45 pm on 13 Feb 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    How the Iranian Regime Is Waging a Proxy War in the Middle East 


    NCRI: The Iranian Regime has been merging its proxy groups across the Middle East with existing local defence forces in various countries, which become a part of that country’s army.

    This is evidenced in an April 2017 memo from the Syrian armed forces, which stated that the defense forces would replace the Iranian proxies eventually. This may lead you to believe that Iran is removing itself from the Syrian conflict, but this is simply untrue.

    They are removing their proxies to go to other places in the Middle East, but once the ideology has been spread, the local defense groups will become Iranian proxies themselves and can become far more influential if everybody thinks that the Iranian Regime is not involved.

    This tactic has been used by the Iranian Regime already in Iraq with the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and Lebanon with Hezbollah, two groups that are now immensely in their respective countries and its political system. The Iranian Regime has deployed the PMF and Hezbollah to Syria and other areas of conflict and even used them to train terrorists.

    The groups are even known to work together, as a video of Qais al-Khazali, the leader of PMF affiliate Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, at the Lebanese-Israeli border in December shows. In the video, Khazali states that he is there with Hezbollah to oppose Israel.

    This move doesn’t reduce the number of Iranian proxies involved in conflicts across the Middle East, but increases them. There are then more pro-Iran regional militias to help create Iran’s dream of a Shiite Crescent across the Middle East, which would make it easier to create more proxies by supporting more local defense forces.

    Through the Shiite Crescent, the Iranian proxies could spread across Europe and eventually across the world if they aren’t stopped.

    The Regime’s overall goal in creating more proxies is to export the Iranian Islamic ideology across the region and eventually the world, just as it already has done in Iraq and Lebanon.

    Iran regime's millitias

    Iran regime’s militias 

    Ahmed, a Hezbollah member, said that there are also Hezbollah factions in Syria and Iraq, which share the same ideology and regional goals.

    He said: “All of these factions in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon will fight side by side with each other in the next war.”

    That is a very worrying prospect for anyone concerned about Iranian aggression and expansionism, national sovereignty, peace in the Middle East, and extremist Islamic ideology.

    This is another reason that the Iranian Regime should not be allowed to reach its 40th anniversary in 2019





  • Masoud Dalvand 10:03 pm on 27 Dec 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    VIDEO: One way to counter Iran’s aggression? Change the map of the Middle East 

    The current political structure of the Middle East serves Iran’s interests

    The current political structure of the Middle East serves Iran’s interests

    Fox News, Dec. 25, 2017 – Iran’s geopolitical ascent is the most significant and dangerous development in the Middle East this century. But while the Trump administration’s new National Security Strategy properly identifies Iran as among the important challenges to U.S. security interests, it doesn’t offer a concrete strategy on how to counter Iran’s growing regional power.

    President Trump should follow the example of President Reagan, who pursued an offensive strategy to undermine the Soviet Union that included supporting indigenous anti-communist insurgents around the globe. Today, America should support indigenous forces that oppose – and seek independence from – Iranian domination.
    Reversing the strategic threat posed by Iran will require a continued U.S. military presence and military aid to local forces in Syria and Iraq. It will also require greater support for our regional allies, such as Israel and Jordan, which must contain the provocative actions of Iran and its proxies. But this defensive posture will not suffice even to contain Iran, let alone transform its trajectory.
    The United States also needs to recognize Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen for what they are: failed, artificial constructs now dominated by Iran. Iran has taken advantage of ISIS’ crumbling caliphate to increasingly consolidate control over these four nations.


    The current political structure of the Middle East serves Iran’s interests, and it’s time to upend it.

    Maintaining Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen in their existing forms is unnatural and serves Iran’s interests. There is nothing sacred about these countries’ borders, which seem to have been drawn by a drunk and blindfolded mapmaker. Indeed, in totally disregarding these borders, ISIS and Iran both have already demonstrated the anachronism and irrelevance of the borders.
    Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen are not nation-states as Americans understand them, but rather post-World War I artificial constructs, mostly created out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in a colossally failed experiment by international leaders.
    With their deep ethno-sectarian fissures, these four countries have either been held together by a strong authoritarian hand or suffered sectarian carnage.
    Indeed, the principal vulnerability of Iran’s regional strategy is its dependence on brutal regimes to rule lands riven by ethno-sectarian fissures. The United States should exploit this vulnerability by supporting those forces in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen that oppose Iran’s domination and seek greater self-determination or independence from their own capitals.
    The result could be transforming these failed states into loose confederations or new countries with more borders that more naturally conform along sectarian lines.
    Any redrawing of political relationships or borders is highly complex, and the United States cannot dictate the outcomes. But we can influence them. We would need to deeply examine each country for its unique qualities and histories, and consult closely our regional allies before deciding upon a policy.
    Here are some examples of policy conclusions that the U.S. government might draw:
    ·         We might cease supplying arms to Iraq and declare our support and strong military aid for an eventual Iraqi Kurdish state, once its warring factions unify and improve governance. We could support a federation for the rest of Iraq.
    ·         For Syria, we could seek a more ethnically coherent loose confederation or separate states that might balance each other – the Iranian-dominated Alawites along the coast, the Kurds in the northeast, and the Sunni Arabs in the heartland. We could also demonstrate we are not anti-Shia Muslim by improving relations with Azerbaijan, a secular Shia country bordering Iran that seeks a closer relationship with the United States.
    An added potential benefit of this approach could be a fomenting of tensions within Iran, which has sizable Kurdish and Azeri populations, thereby weakening the radical regime in Tehran.
    Some might argue this approach impractical, destabilizing and offers Iran new opportunities.
    Perhaps, but the region’s current trajectory is more dangerous. The burden is on the United States to adapt its policy to the dissolving of borders and responding to Iran’s aggression.
    Iran is not a status quo power content to consolidate its winnings; its emboldened radical regime is intended to dominate the region and destroy Israel. An Iranian-Israeli conflict looms ever closer as Iran establishes bases and missile factories in Syria, posing a second front in Israel’s north.
    In addition, Americans must concentrate on Iran’s continued development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that could eventually reach the U.S. homeland.
    Artificial states have been divided or loosened before with some success, such as the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia, which are all post-WWI formations. Bosnia and Herzegovina have also managed as a confederation.
    President Trump should take the offensive to Iran. The current political structure of the Middle East serves Iran’s interests, and it’s time to upend it.

  • Masoud Dalvand 9:08 pm on 25 Dec 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Mullahs’ Regime in Crises Explosive Situation in Iran & Meddling in other Countries 

  • Masoud Dalvand 11:53 am on 21 Dec 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    US New Iran Policy 

    NCRI Staff

    NCRI – Following the release of the National Security Strategy, the U.S. is putting the Iranian Regime in its crosshairs for its support of extremism in the Middle East.

    The Donald Trump administration has made it increasingly clear that Iranian regime’s destructive policies will no longer be overlooked by the US and it is now putting their words into action.


    The US has long considered Iran the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism but now that the threat posed by ISIS is waning, the West can finally deal with the ‘godfather’ of Islamic terrorism directly.

    Just last week, Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, explained that the Iranian Regime has supplied ballistic weapons to the Houthis in Yemen in order to attack Saudi Arabia and destabilise the region.

    She said: “We are not just focused on the nuclear programme. We’re also taking a hard look at Iran’s ballistic missile program, its arms exports, and its support for terrorists, proxy fighters and dictators.”

    She explained how the Iranian Regime is essentially the facilitator of malign activities across the Arab world.

    She said: “It’s hard to find a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it.[This regime is] fanning the flames” of conflict.”


    It is well known that the Iranian Regime is constantly meddling in the affairs of neighbouring states- like Iraq, Syria, and Yemen- and using their destabilisation to its advantage.

    Douglas Silliman, the US Ambassador to Iraq, said: “Iran simply does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbours.”

    Iraq is now seeking to distance itself from Iran and establish stronger ties with Riyadh and Amman, but the problem is still prominent in other Middle Eastern countries, which could mean a US intervention is necessary.

    There are currently over 2,000 American troops stationed in Syria to fight ISIS and US Defense Secretary James Mattis has indicated that they will remain there for the time being to deter other Iranian proxies from making tracks in the country.


    Some have accused the Trump administration of setting the stage for all-out war with Iran rather than attempting diplomatic measures but diplomatic measures aren’t working.

    Human rights activist Heshmat Alavi wrote on Al Arabiya: “[The accusers’] intentions are far from preventing the US from entering a new war, but to protect Tehran from any strong measures, including international sanctions that target the regime and actually benefit the people by weakening the ruling system.”

    Alavi is by no means calling for war with Iran- he cites that with the level of unprecedented infighting between Iran factions, drop in revenue for the country, and international sanctions, war will not be necessary to bring down the Regime. He advises decisive action- like crippling sanctions- to strike a death blow to the Regime.

    This is also the position of the Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), who first revealed Iran’s clandestine nuclear programme.

    The NCRI advises:

    • Imposing wide-ranging sanctions on Iran and their Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and removing access to the global banking system

    • Evicting the IRGC and its proxy militias from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan

    • Preventing the transfer of weaponry and troops from Iran to these countries

    • Referring the Iranian Regime to the International Criminal Court for its human rights violations- especially the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners- and holding those responsible to account

    • Imposing previous UN Security Council resolutions covering Iran’s nuclear weapons program, banning uranium enrichment, and launching unconditional inspections into the regime’s military and non-military sites

  • Masoud Dalvand 8:46 am on 21 Dec 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , IRGC_Out, Pakistani Shias,   

    Pakistani Shias being trained by Iran for a regional fighting force 

    Dubai [UAE], Dec 20 (ANI): Very little is written in Pakistan about the Zainebiyoun, a brigade comprising of Pakistani Shia fighters trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) and currently fighting for the Assad regime in Syria.

    The recruits for the brigade are largely drawn from Shia Hazaras originally from Balochistan and the Shias of Parachinar and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

    According to sources, the number of Pakistanis deployed in this brigade could be as high as 1000.

    The brigade, named after Zainab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad, has been largely operating in the Syrian cities of Damascus, Aleppo, Daraa and Hama. Their primary task is to protect Shia shrines from attacks of the ISIS.

    Though the Zainebiyoun was formed around 2015, Pakistani Shias were being inducted into the Fatemiyoun from 2013 onwards.

    The Fatemiyoun Division, comprising mainly of Afghan Shias, has been fighting alongside Syrian government forces against the ISIS from 2013 onwards. In fact, after the Hizbullah of Lebanon, the Fatemiyoun perhaps has the largest presence of foreign fighters in Syria, estimated to be 20,000 Afghan fighters.

    Interviews of Afghan Shias who have returned to Afghanistan after serving in the Fatemiyoun in Syria, indicate that Iran provides military training to Afghan and Pakistani Shiites both in Iran and inside Syria. The IRGC reportedly provides a four-week, pre-deployment training to Zainebiyouan and Fatemiyoun combatants at ‘special training bases’ inside Iran. There are known to be nine such training camps in Iran. Each combatant is lured into this brigade with the hope of being granted a permanent residency of Iran, a hefty monthly pay of USD 1200 per month and payment for education of the combatants’ children, in case of his death.

    As per accounts of active members of the Zainebiyoun, many of them were driven to join the brigade and take up the Shia cause outside their own country after they witnessed the persecution of Shias in Pakistan.

    While the urban elite Shias remain unharmed because of their class and alignment with the Pakistani military establishment, the vast majority of the poor, disadvantaged Shia Muslims in Pakistan remain victims of frequent suicide attacks and target killing by ISI-sponsored groups like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and other radical Sunni groups.

    Iran has been using this sense of alienation among the middle class and poor Shias in Pakistan, to project itself as the sole protector of Shias worldwide. The arrival of the ISIS has allowed Iran to use its Shia militias to gain a foothold in several countries of the Middle East. There is little doubt that once the ISIS threat in Syria & Iraq is over, these militias or proxy armies will be used by Iran to further its geo-political ambitions in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    When Pakistani COAS Gen Qamar Bajwa visited Iran recently, it is unlikely that he considered it important to raise this issue with the Iranian leaders. However, if Iran’s proactive policy in the Middle East is any indication, Pakistan may soon have to deal with Iran trained Shia proxies in its western borders. (ANI)

    Source: Pakistani Shias being trained by Iran for a regional fighting force

  • Masoud Dalvand 11:44 am on 20 Dec 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Understanding Washington’s Fast-Evolving Policy on Iran – Analysis 


    On the doorstep of US President Donald Trump’s first National Security Strategy speech, the administration launched an unprecedented campaign of pinpointing the Iranian regime as the crosshairs on the epicenter of all extremism causing havoc across the Middle East, writes  Heshmat Alavi in Al Arabiya English.

    This comes following a Wall Street Journal article explaining how in the post-ISIS world Washington will begin pinpointing its focus and resources on the larger and more dangerous threat posed by Tehran, Alavi, a dissident writer and human rights activist, wrote on Monday, December 18, 2017.

    The Trump administration has made it clear that a wide array of destructive policies adopted by Tehran have become unacceptable, the article said.

    Described as a “first” by Reuters, last Thursday US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley displayed a detailed exhibition of Iranian equipment used to arm Yemen’s Houthi militias – long known to be backed by Iran’s regime – and thus, to destabilize the region, especially its archrival, Saudi Arabia.

    “We are not just focused on the nuclear program,” Haley said during a press conference at a US Department of Defense hangar where the Iranian equipment were placed before the media. “We’re also taking a hard look at Iran’s ballistic missile program, its arms exports, and its support for terrorists, proxy fighters and dictators.”

    The Iranian regime can also be described as the facilitator, and maybe even the godfather, of a slate of malign practices rendering suffering across the Arabian Peninsula, leading to the Levant and eastward to Central Asia.

    “It’s hard to find a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it,” Haley continued, adding how this regime is “fanning the flames” of conflict.

    For decades the US State Department has considered Iran the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

    “We may actually be on the verge of meaningful and long overdue measures against Tehran on this very important and vital subject,” the article said.

    Advocates of engagement vis-à-vis the Iranian regime are accusing the US administration of trailing the path of launching a war with Iran.

    “Their intentions are far from preventing the US from entering a new war, but to protect Tehran from any strong measures, including international sanctions that target the regime and actually benefit the people by weakening the ruling system,” the article added.

    It went on to say, as emphasized by Ambassador Haley, it is high time for the international community to take decisive action, such as crippling sanctions targeting the regime and its belligerent institutions, to finally bring an end to what has become “a global threat.”

    The article added:

    The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran, known for blowing the whistle on Tehran’s clandestine nuclear program, indicates how a “firm policy hinges on the following practical measures:

    • Evicting the IRGC and its proxy militias from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan, and preventing the transfer of Iran’s weaponry and troops to these countries;
    • Imposing comprehensive sanctions on Iran and the IRGC, especially preventing their access to the global banking system;
    • Referring Iran’s human rights violations dossier, particularly the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, to The International Criminal Court, and placing the regime’s senior officials responsible for these crimes before justice;
    • Imposing previous UNSC resolutions covering Iran’s nuclear weapons program, banning uranium enrichment, and launching unconditional inspections into the regime’s military and non-
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:04 am on 13 Dec 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    After Fighting Common Enemy ISIS, How Will Rising Tensions Between U.S. and Iran Affect Iraq? 


    How U.S. and Iran found a common enemy in ISIS

    After fighting ISIS, how will rising tensions between U.S. and Iran affect Iraq?
    Video – For watching the video click on the below link:



    Judy Woodruff: Now the final installment in our series Iran Rising in Iraq that examines Tehran’s influence there, and what it means for U.S. policy in the region. Washington is worried about that sway and presence in Iraq, and is taking measures to counter it, raising U.S.-Iran tensions. But, tonight, we look at an extraordinary moment when the U.S. and Iran made common cause to fight a common enemy, and why many say that is unlikely to happen again. In partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, here again is special correspondent Reza Sayah.

    Reza Sayah: October 2016, a coalition of military forces in Iraq launched an offensive to take back the city of Mosul from ISIS. And fighting on the same side were the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iraqi Army General Ghais Al-Hamdawi says it was a superbly coordinated mission.

    Maj. Gen. Ghais Al-hamdawi (through Interpreter): It was the perfect example of bravery and cooperation among everybody, the PMF, tanks, army, air force, the American Air Force, special ops, and even citizens took part. This battle should be a lesson for all the armies in the world.

    Reza Sayah: The mission was called We Are Coming. Among the forces helping the Iraqi army, 500 American troops on the ground and U.S. fighter jets providing air support, and 16,000 fighters from the Popular Mobilization Forces, PMF for short, a volunteer Iraqi militia largely armed and funded by Iran and advised by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. For the next several months, the Iranian-backed militia helped overpower ISIS on the ground in towns and villages surrounding Mosul. Once ISIS was encircled and trapped, in came Iraqi forces, backed by U.S. artillery units and airpower, to finish the extremist group.

    Mazin Al-eshaiker: What unites both Iran and the United States is their goal to end ISIS, which we, as Iraqis, obviously appreciated.

    Reza Sayah: Iraqi politician Mazin Al-Eshaiker says Washington and Tehran never publicly acknowledged the strategy and never made direct contact to discuss it.

    Mazin Al-eshaiker: I’m talking the U.S. and Iranian didn’t sit face to face, but the Iraqis sat face to face with the Iranians, and, in the same token, sat face to face with the Americans to come up with a joint plan for both sides.

    Reza Sayah: The plan worked. In July, ISIS was defeated in its last major stronghold, thanks in part to a rare occasion where the United States and Iran tacitly cooperated to beat a common enemy. But Iraqi officials say, don’t expect U.S.-Iran cooperation again in Iraq any time soon.

    Mazin Al-eshaikerWe are free to dream what we want, but it will not happen.

    Reza Sayah: Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. policy with Iran was cautious engagement on some issues. With the election of President Donald Trump, the policy immediately changed to confrontation, escalating the nearly four-decade-long cold war between the countries. In October, President Donald Trump repeated accusations that Iran sponsors terrorism in the region, and slapped sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

    President Donald Trump: The Iranian dictatorship’s aggression continues to this day. The regime remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

    Reza Sayah: Mr. Trump also refused to certify that Iran was complying with the 2015 nuclear deal, even though the remaining world powers and U.N. inspectors said Iran was complying. Ten days later, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Riyadh to boost Iraq’s ties with Iran’s main regional rival in the region, Saudi Arabia. Tillerson also suggested the PMF was an Iranian fighting force and called for the militia to disband, a demand the Iraqi government rejected, insisting PMF fighters were Iraqi nationals.

    Rex Tillerson: Certainly, Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against Da’esh and ISIS is coming to a close, those militias need to go home.

    Reza Sayah: And, last week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo revealed that he had sent a letter to Qasem Soleimani, a senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, warning Iran over its behavior in Iraq.

    Mike Pompeo: He refused to open the letter. It didn’t break my heart, to be honest with you. What we were communicating to him in that letter was that we will hold he and Iran accountable for any attacks on American interests in Iraq by forces that are under their control. And we wanted to make sure he and the leadership in Iran understood that in a way that was crystal clear.

    Reza Sayah: Senior Iranian officials have hit back in the war of words. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called U.S. policy in the Middle East dangerous. In a live televised address, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused Western countries, including the United States, of having fed and armed ISIS. And in a speech to university students last month, Iran’s supreme leader called the U.S. Iran’s number one enemy.

    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (through Interpreter): My dear children, don’t forget that in this very important path where you’re following your goals, your number one enemy is America.

    Seyed Hosseini: America has to learn a lesson.

    Reza Sayah: Iran-based pro-Iranian political analyst Seyed Hosseini says better relations between Washington and Tehran is good for Iraq. But that won’t happen, he says, unless the U.S. changes what Hosseini calls a hostile policy against Iran.

    Seyed Hosseini: Until they don’t correct themselves and their policies in the region, I don’t think there will be a great hope for that. America, for them to be present in the region, they need Iranian help. They must just come to terms and accept the presence of a powerful Iran.

    Reza Sayah: Many Iraqis doubt Tehran and Washington will change their policies. Ali Elami has owned this Baghdad supermarket for five decades. This is where Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein used to stop by for late-night shawarmas, he says. So, Saddam Hussein had shawarma at your place? Elami says the U.S. and Iran are both here for their own interests, not to help Iraq.

    Ali Elami (through Interpreter): The location of Iraq is very strategic. There’s oil, rivers. When Americans came and kicked out Saddam, they didn’t do it for our interests. They did it for oil and money. Iran has expanded here not for our sake. They did it for their own benefit.

    Muthanna Amin Nader: We pay a price as a people in Iraq.

    Reza Sayah: Iraqi politician Muthana Amin Nader is happy to see is defeated in Iraq. But what he fears now is a dangerous proxy war between Iran and the U.S.

    Muthanna Amin Nader: Conflict between Iran and America makes our people as victim. We give a very, very expensive price. It’s time to say enough for bleeding in Iraq and destroying Iraq. They should support us, but also keep away from us.

    Reza Sayah: With so much at stake here for the U.S. and Iran, keeping away from Iraq seems unlikely. How the two adversaries manage that high-stakes competition while they’re here may go a long way in shaping the future of Iraq. For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Reza Sayah in Baghdad.


  • Masoud Dalvand 8:54 pm on 12 Dec 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , IRGC_Out, , ,   

    Iran Threat to U.S.: Leave Syria or Else!: Video 

    Revolutionary Guard


    TruNews, December 11, 2017 – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani sent a letter, via Russia, demanding every last U.S. soldier leave Syria or else “the doors of hell will open up.”

    According to the Kuwaiti Al Rai Media news website (translated from Arabic), Soleimani told a Russian officer who delivered the message to the U.S.:

    ‘My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS (the Islamic State group) will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it … You shall face soldiers and forces you have not experienced before in Syria and you will leave the country sooner or later.’

    Soleimani reportedly told the Russian middle-man that U.S. forces in Syria will be “considered as forces of occupation” if they stay, according to the Al Rai report. It concludes that the situation could quickly devolved into a mirror of events in Lebanon in 1983, when hundreds of American Marines were killed in the Islamist bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut.


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