Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, used a Tuesday press conference to denounce US plans for a coalition in Iraq against the Islamic State as no more than “a show”.

Jafari, explicitly referring to the Supreme Leader’s Monday dismissal of the US as hypocritical, said, “This coalition is more of a show. The US has finally felt threatened by expansion of this terrorist group and fears that it would affect them in the near future; hence, forming this coalition against ISIL.”

The commander played down Iran’s exclusion — at the insistence of the US and Gulf States like Saudi Arabia and the UAE — from an international conference on Iraq on Monday:

Since this coalition revolves mostly around the US, Iran would never attend [the meeting], even if it were invited to….I do not think this coalition will produce any results, seeing as it has been formed based solely on the Western countries’ objectives.

And Jafari continued the regime’s linkage of Iraq and Syria, “We will continue our support of the Syrian government and condemn the US attempts at mobilizing the rebel groups.”

The General insisted that Iran has no direct military involvement in either Iraq — “our role was consultative” — or Syria, although he praised the foreign advisory role of the Guards’ elite unit: “The Qods Force is focused on abroad to help Islamic movements against hegemonies. So far, they have performed quite well in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.”