How Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Financial Empire Funds Terrorism

This short video shows how the Supreme Leader Ali Khamene’i empowered the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) to build a financial empire and dominate much of the Iranian economy and financial system and where the money ends up in funding international terrorism in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere and how the money is used to fuel the Syria war. The video explains that it is time to designate the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). This 3 minute video clip is made based on the newly published book, “The Rise of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Financial Empire: How the Supreme Leader and the IRGC Rob the People to Fund International Terror.”

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?

Yemen: A new Mideast flash point?

Iran Commentary

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…

View original post 578 more words

ISIS ATTACKS ON IRAN SHOULD MAKE THE REGIME REFLECT

Kia  by Shahriar Kia

At a time when Iran is engulfed in a conglomerate of domestic and international crises, the regime witnessed two unexpected attacks by ISIS against its godfather in Tehran, marking the first such attack by the terror group on Iranian soil.

Parallel to denunciations from across the globe, the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran condemned the attack and warned of Tehran taking advantage of such a development.

NCRI President Maryam Rajavi strongly condemned the loss of innocent lives under any pretext.

“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 the murderer and the victim and portray the central banker of terrorism as a victim,” Rajavi said.

Reports and evidence to this day show the presence and crimes committed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria were to the sole benefit of Iran, allowing this regime to justify its role in this region. Iran, in contrast to other countries of the Middle East, has been the only country where ISIS and al-Qaeda had not conducted a terror attack. This could not have been a mere coincidence.

Strangely, all signs indicate Iran actually welcomed this incident. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei outrageously described this attack, that according to state media left 17 killed and dozens of others injured, merely as “playing with firecrackers.” Maybe he witnessed a potential in this turn of events to cloak the dilemmas and crises his entire apparatus is facing.

The spread of domestic rallies against the mullahs in Iran, the recent presidential election quagmire, escalating protests and gatherings staged outside the parliament by investors who have lost their savings in two now-bankrupt financial firms linked to the Revolutionary Guards, and strong positions taken by the United States and more than 50 Arabic and Muslim countries in the recent Riyadh Summit are a small slate of the regime’s current calamities.

To this end, this terrorist attack couldn’t have come at a better timing for the regime and provided a number of desperately needed lifelines. The Iranian regime will now seek to justify repressive measures against domestic protests, seek to normalize conditions to portray a status quo similar to those prior to the May presidential election, and escalate its meddling in other countries under the pretext of the war against ISIS.

Despite the fact that ISIS has claimed responsibility for this attack, people inside Iran have taken to Telegram and other social media platforms to express their surprise and suspicions, questioning how assailants were able to penetrate into the parliament, especially considering the already tight security atmosphere in Iran. They are also doubting claims made by various MPs who claimed the parliament’s sessions continued despite attackers entering the building. Conflicting reports were issued by official sources regarding the number of attackers and other factors, further adding to the public’s doubts over the entire issue.

It is worth noting that Iran has a history of resorting to similar measures when pinned against insurmountable crises. For example, on June 20th, 1994, at a time when thousands of people had filled the Imam Reza Shrine, considered Iran’s holiest site in the country located in the northeastern city of Mashhad, a powerful bombing left dozens of pilgrims killed and hundreds wounded.

The Iranian regime raised allegations against its main opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Khamenei sent a message demanding the PMOI be punished, including expulsion from European countries and Iraq. Five years later, as the light was shed on the “chain murders” in Iran, evidence surfaced showing the role of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence in the Mashhad bombing. In 1999 Iran’s Armed Forces Judiciary Organization issued a statement accusing Saeid Emami, then Iranian deputy minister of intelligence under Ali Fallahian, acknowledging further the MOIS role in this attack.

There are also voices heard arguing that the Iranian regime and ISIS enjoyed an unwritten agreement, similar to the relationship between Syria’s Bashar Assad regime and ISIS. It is to no surprise at all, considering the fact that both parties believe their ending is near. The mullahs are losing the war against the Iranian people, and ISIS is more vulnerable than ever in the face of a global coalition. Their golden era has come to an end.

To uproot terrorism in the Middle East, Rajavi emphasized the following measures:

  • 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.

originally published in the dally caller 

Source: ISIS ATTACKS ON IRAN SHOULD MAKE THE REGIME REFLECT

ANALYSIS: Prelude to a showdown between the US and Iran?

ANALYSIS

Special to Al Arabiya English Tuesday, 6 June 2017
With the United States boosting “combat power” in southern Syria and bolstering measures with the Kurds in the north in preparation for a major assault on the self-proclaimed ISIS capital of Raqqa, word is in the air about a confrontation in the making between the US and Iran in the Middle East, with Syria acting as a launch site.
Does this piece intend to promote war against Iran? Absolutely not. While some do argue this would play into the Iranian regime’s hands and provide pretext for the clerics to rally fighters to take on the “World Arrogance” or “Great Satan,” as Tehran describes Washington, there is no basis to go that far.
Most importantly is the sheer fact that the regime lacks such a social base. Recall how former Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said this regime represents four percent of Iran’s society. And yet the increase in US military presence in the Middle East should be considered a welcome measure, certainly so after the Obama administration disastrously created a dangerous void by prematurely pulling out US troops from Iraq in late 2011.

Iran’s destructive policies

Iran usurped the opportunity and opened the gates of hell into Mesopotamia. The destructive policies Tehran dictated to Baghdad under former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki paved the path for the rise of ISIS in 2014 to storm the country’s north and central lands.
It has taken three dreadful years and a volume of human and financial resources to push the terror group out of Iraq, leaving large swathes of the country devastated and more importantly, Iran enjoying unprecedented and highly sensitive influence across the spectrum in Iraq through its conglomerate of militias.
The international coalition, led by the US, has provided air support for the Hashid al-Sha’bi in its advances against ISIS. The correct/incorrect nature of such a policy, however, is the topic of another debate.

Importance of the Levant

On Syria, there is no doubt in the importance of the Levant for Iran. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has, time and again, highlighted the imperative of Iran confronting its enemies in Syria far from its own borders.
“Had the ill-wishers and plotters not been prevented from their evil deeds in Syria we would have to prevent them in the Iranian provinces of Tehran, Fars, Khorasan and Isfahan, so it is better we do it there,” he said recently. “The door for martyrdom, which was closed by the end of the war with Iraq, is now open in Syria.”
So if no war with Iran is in suggestion here, what foreign policy advice can be provided to the West, and especially Washington?
Constant is the fact that non-military options are always preferred and have proven their effectiveness. Iran is undeniably a rogue and authoritarian regime determined to gain and impose an illegitimate dominance across the region, meddle in other nations’ domestic affairs, export terrorism/extremism/Islamic fundamentalism, and kill civilians and military personnel of all adversaries, including the United States, Saudi Arabia and all their regional allies.
Rajavi has provided the initial building blocks of how to tackle the Iranian regime dilemma. (AP)

Against all parties

Confronting Iran by military force is considered illogical by politicians from both sides of the aisle in Washington, and their counterparts across Europe and the Middle East. Iran’s policies in the Middle East have been against the interests of all parties, with the exception of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and its slate of proxy forces behind the rampage we are witnessing today.
The question is how to confront Iran correctly. Those in control are taking advantage and misrepresenting Islam for their interests and their sponsored atrocities are against the teaching of all holy books, including the Torat, Bible and Quran.
Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran is a strong coalition providing a platform on how to take on the Iranian regime in the most effective of manners.
NCRI President Maryam Rajavi, herself a Muslim woman representing a tolerant vision of Islam in far contrast to the mullahs’ atrocities, held a gathering on Sunday in Paris marking the holy month of Ramadan.

Rajavi’s call

Encouraging “Interfaith Solidarity Against Extremism,” Rajavi provided the initial building blocks of how to tackle the Iranian regime dilemma. “I would like to propose a three-pronged initiative on behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance. And I urge all the states and countries in the region to support it.
First, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which is the main operative advancing all the regime’s policies in the region, must be officially recognized and declared a terrorist entity. The presence of this force and its proxy militias in Middle East countries must not be tolerated and they must be evicted all together from countries in the region.
“Second, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) must expel the Iranian regime and grant Iran’s seat in this organization to the Iranian people’s Resistance.
“Third, they should recognize the Iranian people’s struggle to bring down the clerical regime and establish freedom and democracy.”

Source: ANALYSIS: Prelude to a showdown between the US and Iran?

Iran To Continue Warmongering into Second Term

 

The Media Express

After the election tally was completed and President Hassan Rouhani was elected for his second term, he held a press conference outlining domestic and foreign policies. It was an enlightening conference, showcasing how little he really intends or is able to create real change in Iran.

His first point was that Iran’s current military efforts throughout the Middle East will continue, adding that they are on the ground in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. He also pointed out that Iran has fought and will continue to fight against terrorism in the region.

“Iran has and will continue to support these through its diplomats and military advisors,” said Rouhani. “The Iranians and Russians fought against terrorism alongside the Syrians and the Iraqis. Who continues to fund the terrorists?…The U.S. government has never fought against terrorism…Hezbollah is a group accepted and trusted by the people of Lebanon.”

In addition, there was the…

View original post 313 more words

Why Boeing and Airbus deals with Iran shouldn’t fly

Iran-foreign-policy-is-built-on-meddling-in-...
Iran foreign policy is built on meddling in the affairs of other countries

Aiding and abetting terrorists is bad business

The Colorado Statesman, May 5, 2017 – Sometimes international law is ambiguous. Sometimes not. When it comes to murdering civilians and using chemical weapons to get the job done, there are no grey areas, no fuzzy lines, no mitigating circumstances. Such practices are clearly and specifically prohibited under what’s called “the law of war.” That makes Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s dynastic dictator, a war criminal. And it makes Iran his chief accomplice.
As far back as 2005, Jane’s Defense Weekly reported that Iran’s rulers were actively helping Mr. Assad launch an “innovative chemical warfare program” — providing technology to build equipment that would produce “hundreds of tons of precursors for VX, sarin nerve agents and mustard blister agent.”
When it comes to the Islamic Republic, President Trump and his advisors are under no illusions. “Everywhere you look, if there’s trouble in the region, you find Iran,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said last Wednesday during a visit to Saudi Arabia.
“Iran is the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed the same day. The clerical regime, he added, “is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining U.S. interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon and continuing to support attacks against Israel. An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it.”
So what’s the Trump administration’s strategy for checking Iran? That’s still a work in progress. But some measures can and should be taken immediately. In particular, unlike his predecessor, President Trump should refrain from facilitating Iran’s support for terrorism and war crimes.
For example: During the final months of the Obama administration, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a license for Boeing to sell 100 new planes to Iran Air, “The Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Treasury also issued licenses to Airbus for a similarly sized deal. Iranian officials claim these aircraft will be used for civilian purposes only.
The evidence suggests they’re lying. Emanuele Ottolenghi, my colleague at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been painstakingly tracking Iran Air flights between Tehran and Damascus. There have been 768 since Jan. 16, 2016, the day that President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was implemented. Of those, 129 were on Iran Air.
Dr. Ottolenghi believes few, if any, are ferrying tourists keen on sightseeing, shopping and fine dining. He believes they are supplying military equipment and fighters in support of Mr. Assad’s forces and those of Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanon-based proxy militia which has been deployed to help defend Mr. Assad’s regime.
It’s worth recalling that, in 2011, Treasury “designated” Iran Air for providing material support and services to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps which had itself been designated for proliferating weapons of mass destruction. Treasury particularly noted that Iran Air had been transporting “missile or rocket components to Syria.”
Then, suddenly, just over a year ago, Iran Air’s designation was removed. Administration spokesmen declined to explain why except to say they were acting “pursuant” to the JCPOA. An educated guess: President Obama had added a sweetener — one of many — to a deal he saw as essential to his legacy.
Decades of sanctions against Iran’s civil aviation sector were lifted as well. In congressional testimony earlier this month, Dr. Ottolenghi said that from Iran’s perspective, the timing could not have been better: This was the point at which the aviation sector “became vital to Tehran’s war efforts in the Syrian theater.”
Dr. Ottolenghi is recommending that the Trump administration, at the least, now “suspend licensing for aircraft deals while it conducts a thorough review of their role in the airlifts to Syria.”
The U.S. intelligence community has the means to determine what’s moving between Iran and Syria. If these flights are, in fact, military rather than commercial and civilian, Dr. Ottolenghi would urge the administration to sanction — or rather re-sanction — Iran’s entire aviation sector. Because these would be non-nuclear sanctions, doing so would not violate the JCPOA. Airbus’s license can and should be suspended as well because its planes contain key parts made in the USA.
The same week Mr. Assad used chemical weapons to slaughter more than 70 people in northwestern Syria, yet another Iranian airline, Aseman, signed yet another deal to purchase Boeing planes. Aseman’s CEO, Hossein Alaei, spent most of his life in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Ministry of Defense, a branch of Iran’s government also designated for proliferating weapons of mass destruction and their delivery system. President Trump should instruct Treasury not to grant a license to Aseman either.
Executives, stockholders and lobbyists for Boeing and Airbus will not be pleased by what I’ve written above. But they should ask themselves: Do they really want history to record that they helped Iran Air enable Mr. Assad’s mass murder of innocent men, women and children?
Under the JCPOA, Iran’s rulers agreed to delay — not end — a nuclear weapons program whose existence they do not acknowledge. In exchange, they’ve received billions of dollars as well as permission to join the nuclear weapons club a few years down the road. What if, at that point, they’re still the world’s leading sponsors of terrorism, vowing genocide against Israel and “Death to America!”? Under the deal Mr. Obama concluded, that won’t matter.
When it comes to the threats President Obama left for his successor, none is more daunting than that posed by Tehran. In principle, President Trump should be encouraging Boeing and other American companies to make a buck abroad. But as a matter of principle, President Trump should not allow Boeing nor any other American companies to be in the business of aiding and abetting terrorists and war criminals.

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) columnist for the Washington Times and member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent bipartisan federal body reporting to the president, secretary of state, and Congress. May’s columns regularly appear in The Colorado Statesman.

Source: Why Boeing and Airbus deals with Iran shouldn’t fly