Iran’s propaganda drumbeat against the US in the Iraq crisis continues.
The Rouhani Government initially put out feelers for cooperation with Washington when the Iraqi insurgency, including the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham, seized the cities of Mosul and Tikrit and moved towards Baghdad two weeks later. However, it was quickly rebuffed by others within the regime, including the Supreme Leader’s office.
On Thursday, Fars News — the outlet of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — declared, “Under the pretext of helping Baghdad battle against ISIS terrorists, dozens of officers from the United States Department of Defense have arrived in Iraq, and concerns regarding the return of ‘occupation and occupiers’ has increased.”
President Obama said last week that up to 300 US special forces and advisors would go to Baghdad to assist Iraqi authorities. The first group of 90 Americans arrived on Wednesday.
Iran officially denies that it is providing military forces to assist Baghdad. However, reports indicate that the head of the IRGC’s elite Qods Force, General Qassem Soleimani, has been working with Iraqi military and political leaders. Those reports say up to 2,000 Iranians — two battalions of the Qods Force and Basij militia — are in Iraq.
Fars also features other lurid declarations about the Iraqi conflict, such as “ISIS Terrorists Raped Three Women and Cut Off Their Heads Afterwards.”
Iran Receives Airplane Parts Under Interim Nuclear Deal
The head of the Civil Aviation Organization, Alireza Jahangirian, has said, “The first shipments of replacement aircraft parts have been received” under November’s interim agreement with the 5+1 Powers.
The US has held up spare parts for civilian aircraft for years because of the disputes over Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran claims that the embargo has led to fatal crashes among its aging fleet of airplanes.
Jahangirian said that airplane engines that need maintenance have now been sent abroad to be repaired.