Iran Daily: Revolutionary Guards — We Are Staying in Syria


Gen. Jafari points to long-term Iranian presence


Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, who have propped up the Assad regime since 2012, have declared a long-term commitment to remaining in Syria.

Guards commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari (pictured) said on State TV on Thursday, “The Guards are ready to play an active role in establishing a lasting ceasefire in Syria…and reconstruction of the country.”

Jafari hit back at demands, including from Israel, for the withdrawal of Iranian-led foreign militias as part of a Syrian resolution. He said disarming Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a vital Iranian ally, is out of the question:

The Guards have established an extensive economic presence in Syria during the 80-month conflict. Their units and militias have claimed phosphate mines in the east of the country and pursued the recapture of oil and gas fields. In southern Damascus, they have taken over key property linking the Assad regime’s Presidential Palace and other buildings with military bases to the southwest of the capital. They have cleared residents in the name of development and set up checkpoints around Damascus’s largest two Shia mosques.

Jafari implicitly referred to the position on Thursday: “In meetings with the [Iranian] government, it was agreed that the Guards were in a better position to help Syria’s reconstruction…the preliminary talks already have been held with the Syrian government over the issue.”

Ahmadinejad: Judiciary is More Powerful Than Supreme Leader

Defending his embattled allies, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared that Iran’s judiciary is more powerful than the Supreme Leader.

In a video interview posted on Thursday, Ahmadinejad said that, because of the neglect of justice by the judiciary and its head Sadeq Amoli Larijani, “the whole country is in danger”.

Last week Ahmadinejad’s former Vice President Hamid Baghaei, senior advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr, and Habibollah Joz-Khorasani claimed sanctuary in a southern Tehran shrine after they were summoned to court.

Baghaei was detained for months in 2015 and briefly in July on charges of embezzlement. Former 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi is serving a 5-year prison sentence for fraud. And last week former Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei was officially charged last week for insults of the Supreme Leader, propaganda against the regime, illegal usage of government assets, insults of high-ranking state officials, and spreading of lies.

Ahmadinejad has said in speeches, including one near the sanctuary shrine last week, that the charges are fabricated and politically-motivated, criticizing Sadeq Larijani and his brother, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani.

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  1. So the upshot of nearly 7 years of western-backed destabilization of Syria is that the IRGC has a bigger presence than ever in the country. Looks like a spectacular own goal.

  2. Iran state media challenges the innocence of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe:

    “The Iribnews video shows Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s correspondence in an email in which she introduces herself as ‘a Training Assistant within the Iran Team at the BBC World Service Trust’ and added that her project ZigZag Academy is an online journalism scheme that trains young journalists from Iran and Afghanistan through a secure online platform……….she allegedly approached bloggers and selected applicants; invited them to Turkey, Malaysia and India; chose trainers who were largely “anti-revolutionary elements” outside Iran; evaluated performance and sometimes created cyber teams inside the country.”

    • You omitted the other claimed “evidence”:

      *The report added that she ended her co-operation with BBC in 2010 when she entered into a “more serious project which led to a [UN] resolution against Iran”. A second instalment of the video is due to be published soon.

      The husband of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has urged Mr Johnson to escalate his wife’s case in an effort to secure her release, was included in the video. His travels to Israel were mentioned in the video as were his connections with London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies — “a base for MI6”.*

      • The SOAS is indeed a recruiting ground for the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6):

        “Corinne Souza, a SOAS graduate whose father Lawrence De Souza was the Secret Intelligence Services (MI6) foremost authority in Iraq, confirms that MI6 recruit from respected British universities. Her book entitled “Baghdad’s spy” also refers to Britain’s role in toppling the democratically-elected government of Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953 and even specifies the role of Professor Ann (Nancy) Lambton of London’s SOAS in his removal.”

        Ann Lambton was the world’s finest scholar of the Perian language outside of Iran. The BBC and the SOAS played their part in the overthrow of the secular nationalist government of Mossadegh.

        • There are members of the British intelligence services who are graduates of SOAS (and of LSE and Oxford and Cambridge and even Birmingham).

          But no, it is not a “training ground” for British spies. That’s a standard Iranian regime propaganda line to justify detentions.

      • Is there a cover-up in the British media over Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe?

        “Correction (November 21st, 2017): An earlier version of this article said that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe had once worked for the BBC Persian service. In fact it was the BBC’s international development charity. We are sorry.”

        Iran has always maintained that Zaghari-Ratcliffe worked with BBC Persian during her employment with BBC World Service Trust, now known as BBC Media Action ( a version of CIMA in the United States).

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