Compiled by Struan Stevenson, President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)
The US and Western countries’ silence against the meddling of the terrorist Qods Force and Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the region, especially in Iraq and Syria, has encouraged Tehran in advancing its warmongering and fundamentalist policies so that the highest officials of the regime and their mercenaries in the region explicitly acknowledge these interventions and promise even more meddling.
Here follows a series of statements by Tehran’s officials. And which clearly point out the need for these interventions and increased warmongering by the Iranian regime, as an explicit tactic designed to cover up internal problems and avoid the regime’s overthrow.
Tehran’s goal of interventions
- On June 26, the regime’s Supreme Leader Khamenei emphasized the real goal of the regime’s interventions in the region when he said: “Someone who rises up here and goes to Iraq and Syria to defend Ahl-ul-Bait holy places and stands against the Takfiris, in fact, is defending his own cities. Indeed, this is defending Iran, defending the Islamic society.”
- The senior advisor to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Qods Force commander – Brigadier General Iraj Masjidi – in a ceremony on June 17 honoring the Revolutionary Guards killed in Syria, said: “Fighting in Syria and Iraq, deepens the Islamic Republic security and defends our borders … Aleppo , Fallujah and other areas of Syria and Iraq are the front lines of the Islamic resistance front.”
- In the same June 26 speech, Khamenei threatened Bahrain and said: “The problem is the oppressive rule of a small minority. Mr. Sheikh Issa Qassem had been assaulted; this is their folly, this shows their stupidity. Sheikh Issa Qassem was the one who until today prevented people from using armed and extreme actions. Assaulting Sheikh Issa Qassem means removal of obstacles in front of passionate and epic youth of Bahrain [who if they] confront the ruling regime, cannot be silenced in any other way.”
- The Leader of the Iranian Qods Force, General Qasem Soleimani, wrote in a statement on June 20 about Bahrain: “The oppressed Muslim people of Bahrain have been long and for many years under oppression, discrimination, injustice, humiliation and violent, inhumane and unacceptable acts of Al Khalifa … It seems that Al Khalifa took advantage of the peaceful movement of people and has no accurate estimate of their anger. Definitely they know that assaulting Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem is a red line that passing it creates a fire flame in Bahrain and the whole region and leaves no choice for the people but armed resistance. Certainly Al Khalifa will pay the price and the result will be the destruction of this ruthless regime. Supporters of Al Khalifa must know insulting Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem and continuing pressure on the people of Bahrain is the beginning of a bloody intifada whose consequences rests with those who give legitimacy to the impertinence of Bahrain’s rulers.”
- On June 22, Kayhan newspaper, affiliated with Khamenei’s faction, wrote in its editorial: “The people of Bahrain and every other oppressed people are not separate from the Iranian people and Iran and Islam will not forget part of their body. If only ten percent of the people, who for close to six years have been pointing their fists and hands toward the palaces and tanks in Bahrain, start shooting, the Al Khalifa regime will quickly be destroyed… The statement of commander Soleimani is not a political article written by a journalist, expressing a kind of theory. The statement of commander Soleimani is the starting point of a serious movement aimed at “effective defense” of the rights of people of Bahrain… and it will change the balance toward the Bahraini people … Iran and especially Commander Soleimani have proven that when they enter a case, they do not drop it in the middle of the road and will not leave a job until it is finished.”
- Hassam Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary General said on June 25: “About the US financial sanctions I have to say this law has no material effect on Hezbollah, because Hezbollah’s budget comes from Iran and no other party has anything to do with it. Money comes from Iran including rockets that we threaten Israel with. We thank Imam Khamenei, the Iranian government and its president for their unwavering support for us in previous years. We pay the salaries and we have no problems in this area.”
- Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said shamelessly on June 24: “The fight of the Party (Hezbollah) in Iraq and Syria is to defend Lebanon and its people. A number of brothers from Iraq came to us and told us, ‘our brothers in Hezbollah, we need a certain number of your cadres and commanders’, they specified some numbers. A number of Jihadi commanders in Hezbollah got ready to go. It is true that we help Iraq in Iraq, and Syria in Syria. But hereby we defend Lebanon.”
- Brigadier General Ali Fazli, deputy commander of IRGC Bassij force in a ceremony honoring Afghans killed in the Syrian war, said on June 17 in Mashhad: “The number of dead from Hezbollah in Syria is more than all its dead over 30 years … This is not only for Lebanon. In Iraq it is the same thing and as far as oppression exists, the right stands against it.”
- On June 20, Al Jazeera TV reported from Fallujah: “While Iraqi forces continue their control over various areas of Fallujah, Iraqi sectarian militias announced their entry to Fallujah and this while Haidar Al Abadi, Iraq’s Prime Minister had previously said these militias would not enter Sunni areas, but the statements of militia commanders indicate that these forces have entered the city on the demand of official military forces.” Al Jazeera also showed pictures of Abu Haider, a high-ranking commander of the Badr militia, who is also the commander of the federal police fifth special brigade, alongside Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force and Iranian Revolutionary Guards ground forces commander Mohammad Pakpour in Fallujah.
- Al Jazeera quoted Al Anbar Provincial Council on June 23 that the number of detainees from Fallujah and surrounding areas is about 19,175 people. Homes that have not been destroyed in blind air bombardments, according to security and press sources, have been set on fire by Shi’ite militias. Qusay Abdul Aziz, a journalist from Fallujah who works with the Anbar police and covers the fighting in Fallujah, said in an interview with Al Jazeera: “I saw with my own eyes in the Nazzal, Rassaleh and Jabir areas, popular Bassij forces’ vehicles that were taking household appliances from homes.” The journalist also spoke about the actions of popular Bassij militias who plundered Fallujah General Hospital and said that security forces prevented them for a few hours but occasionally they got permission from someone whom nobody knows… It is sufficient that the doors of the city be opened to independent media to lighten up the image. The journalist was arrested two days later by Iraqi forces and there is no further news about him.
About the author Struan Stevenson:
President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) Struan Stevenson was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2014 and was President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009 to 2014. Link to IRAQ-FALLUJAH: THE COLLAPSING CALIPHATE