News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqU.S. Treasury accuses Iran, Syria

U.S. Treasury accuses Iran, Syria

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Middle East Times: The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Wednesday designated four individuals and one entity under Executive Order 13438 for threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and the government of Iraq. Middle East Times

By CLAUDE SALHANI (Editor, Middle East Times)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Wednesday designated four individuals and one entity under Executive Order 13438 for threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and the government of Iraq.

A statement from the Treasury said the individuals and entity “commit, direct, support, or pose a significant risk of committing acts of violence against Iraqi citizens, Iraqi government officials, and coalition Forces.”

It went on to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria.

“Iran trains, funds, and provides weapons to violent Shia extremist groups, while Syria provides safe-haven to Sunni insurgents and financiers,” said Stuart Levey, under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

The communiqué went on to say: “By committing, directing, and supporting violent attacks in Iraq, these extremists threaten peace and stability and undermine efforts to promote economic reconstruction in Iraq.”

“This is a significant blow to Tehran’s nefarious destabilizing campaign in Iraq,” Alireza Jafarzadeh, author of “The Iran Threat” told the Middle East Times.

Jafarzadeh, who is close to the Iranian resistance movement said that this action “must now be followed by extending the designation to other Qods Force and IRGC commanders.”

The Qods Force is a unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps that trains Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups outside Iran.

The four named individuals are …

AHMED FORUZANDEH

Iran-based Ahmed Foruzandeh is a brigadier general in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force. Foruzandeh is accused of leading terrorist operations against coalition forces and Iraqi security forces, and directing assassinations of Iraqi figures. As of mid-February 2007, Foruzandeh ordered his Iranian intelligence officers to continue targeting Shiites and Sunnis to further sectarian violence within Iraq.

Foruzandeh is also responsible for planning training courses in Iran for Iraqi militias, including Sayyid al-Shuhada and Iraqi Hezbollah, to increase their ability to combat coalition forces. The training includes courses in guerrilla warfare, light arms, marksmanship, planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and firing anti-aircraft missiles.

Foruzandeh and his subordinates provide financial and material support for acts of violence against coalition forces and Iraqi security forces. In early April 2007, Foruzandeh provided $25,000 to help fund military operations against coalition forces in Salah ad-Din province, Iraq. Foruzandeh provided the funds to two men claiming to be members of a Sunni terrorist organization in Iraq, promising the men additional funds if they would deliver videos of attacks against coalition forces.

In addition to providing financial and material support for attacks against coalition forces, Foruzandeh supplied a certain Shiite militia group with a target for execution. On July 25, 2005, Foruzandeh held a meeting with representatives of Iraqi Hezbollah and other Shiite militia groups, calling upon them to continue liquidating all enemies of the Islamic revolution, including security and intelligence personnel, tribal chiefs and religious clerics.

ABU MUSTAFA AL-SHEIBANI

Sheibani is alleged to have sponsored a network intended “to affect the Iraqi political process in Iran’s favor. The network’s first objective is to fight U.S. forces, attacking convoys and killing soldiers. Its second objective is to eliminate Iraqi politicians opposed to Iran’s influence. Elements of the IRGC were also sending funds and weapons to Sheibani’s network.

Sheibani’s network — consisting of several hundred members — conducted IED attacks against Americans in the Baghdad region. As of March 2007, Sheibani, is known to have transported Katyusha rockets to be used for attacks against coalition forces, launched rockets against Americans and made videos of the attacks to get money from Iran.

Additionally, Sheibani commands several pro-Iranian insurgent groups in southern Iraq that work to destabilize Iraq and sabotage coalition efforts.… Ordered by IRGC headquarters to create disorder, the task of these groups is to attack bases of coalition forces in southern Iraq, particularly British forces.

In an effort to cause instability in Iraq, Sheibani and his network targeted Iraqi government officials. Sheibani conducted attacks against the Iraqi police chief of Najaf, Iraq, and the Iraqi deputy governor in Jajaf, Iraq. Sheibani’s network also killed Muhammad al-Friji, a colonel in the Iraqi Ministry of Interior.

ISMAIL HAFIZ AL-LAMI (aka ABU DURA)

As of 2007, Iran-based Shiite extremist Abu Dura and his group were actively targeting Iraqi government officials, Sunni community leaders, and anyone who cooperated with coalition forces, according to the Department of Treasury.

In a brazen daylight attack, Abu Dura and his group kidnapped employees from the Ministry of Higher Education in November 2006. Sunni hostages were then singled out, tortured, and killed by men under Abu Dura’s control.

Abu Dura was also responsible for the July 2006, kidnapping of Taysir Najih Awad al-Mashadani, a Sunni member of the Iraqi parliament. He also planned to kidnap Sunni Iraqi politician Adnan al-Dulaymi and planned a mortar attack against the residence of Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi.

Abu Dura also directs acts of violence against Iraqi civilians. Abu Dura uses members of a Baghdad-based Shiite militia to gather information on potential targets. Abu Dura then uses this information to plan and coordinate potential kidnapping and assassination operations. In July 2006, men under Abu Dura’s control routinely executed Iraqi citizens in Sadr City, Baghdad.

After fleeing to Iran to avoid capture by coalition forces, Abu Dura continued to direct attacks in Iraq against coalition forces and Sunnis in Iraq during early-2007. Abu Dura maintained contact with proxies in Iraq who carried out those attacks.

MISHAN AL-JABURI, and the entity is his AL-ZAWRA TELEVISION

Syrian based Al-Zawra TV station is owned and controlled by Mishan al-Jaburi. Publicly stating that he owns Al-Zawra and that “no one” outside his family controlled its content, Jaburi privately agreed to broadcast open-coded messages through patriotic songs to the Sunni terrorist group the Islamic Army of Iraq.

Still according to the United States Treasury Al-Zawra, which has received financing from al-Qaida, is also used as a venue to broadcast graphic videos of attacks against U.S. forces. Additionally, Al-Zawra broadcast recruitment videos for the al-Qaida in Iraq organization of Abu Bakr al-Sadiq al-Salafi Battalion. In November 2006, Zawra’s Iraq office was closed by the government of Iraq for airing programs inciting violence.

In addition to the reasons for which Al-Zawra is being designated, it is a pro-insurgency station that broadcasts graphic videos of insurgent attacks against U.S. forces, advocates violence against Shiites, and calls upon Iraqis to unite and take up arms against coalition forces.

“Tehran has to be evicted from Iraq, and the entire operation of the Qods Force and the IRGC should be dismantled in Iraq,” Jafarzadeh said.

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