Iran TerrorismIranian news agency removes IRGC commander's comments on Iranian...

Iranian news agency removes IRGC commander’s comments on Iranian forces in Syria


RadioFreeEurope: Iran’s hard-line Fars news agency has removed comments by a commander of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), who was quoted as saying that the Islamic republic is militarily involved in Syria.



Iran’s hard-line Fars news agency has removed comments by a commander of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), who was quoted as saying that the Islamic republic is militarily involved in Syria.

Tehran has repeatedly denied that Iranian combat forces are fighting alongside the troops of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, where the conflict has left tens of thousands of dead.

“Today we fight in Syria for interests such as the Islamic Revolution. Our defense is to the extent of the Sacred Defense,” Hossein Hamedani was quoted as saying by Fars. “Sacred Defense” is the term used by Iranian officials to refer to the bloody 1980-88 war with Iraq.

Fars reported that Hamedani made the comments on May 4 at an administrative council meeting in the province of Hamedan.

The news agency, close to the IRGC, removed the text of Hamedani’s remarks from its website a few hours after posting it. A cached copy of the report is still available here.

Iranian news agencies have a record of removing content deemed sensitive or controversial without providing any explanation.

The IRGC commander said Iran shared its war experience with Syria. “In this conflict, without any expectations, the experiences were transferred, and training was provided to the Syrians,” Hamedani was quoted as saying by Fars. “We provided training that included the separation of armed forces from the people and reduced the number of casualties.”

Fars also quoted Hamedani as saying that the Syrian regime was no longer “at the risk of collapse.”

Hamedani, the former commander of Tehran’s Rasulollah division of the IRGC, was also quoted as saying that the Islamic republic had established a “second Hizballah” in Syria, referring to the Lebanese Shi’ite militia allied with Tehran. “The prime minister of Israel had said, at the time when the U.S. was ready to attack Syria, come, weaken Hizballah and cut the hand of Iran. But Iran has formed a second Hizballah in Syria,” he said.

He also claimed that 130,000 “trained” members of Iran’s Basij force were ready to enter Syria.

Iranian officials claim that Tehran provides only humanitarian and economic assistance as well as technical help to Assad’s regime.

In 2012, the commander of the IRGC, Mohammad Ali Jafari, made a rare acknowledgment of Iran’s military presence in Syria, while saying that Iranian forces were providing solely nonmilitary assistance to the Syrian regime. “A number of members of the Quds Force are present in Syria but this does not constitute a military presence,” Jafari was quoted as saying at a news conference.

Jafari said Iran could change its policy and become militarily involved if Syria came under attack.

In recent months, Iranian media have reported the killing of several Iranians in the Syrian conflict. According to the reports, some of the slain Iranian fighters had gone to Syria to defend a holy shrine in the suburbs of Damascus. 

Iran views the Syrian regime as its main strategic ally in the region and as part of an “axis of resistance” against Israel and Arab countries. “Syria helped us greatly during the imposed war [with Iraq],” Hamedani noted.

He referred to Iran, Russia, and China as Syria’s “friendly camp,” while adding that some Arab countries, Turkey, the United States, and EU countries have been trying to bring the Syrian regime down.

Hamedani said Iran’s alliance with Syria, the creation of Hizballah, and the strengthening of the “axis of resistance” were among the factors that have affected the Syrian crisis. “Without these, the region would be easy for the U.S. [to influence],” he said.

— Golnaz Esfandiari 

Latest news

Iran, the Resurrection of the Concept of ‘Revolution’

These days, Iran’s political and social environment has witnessed massive storms, which have changed the meaning of all concepts....

Iran Regime’s Response to Protests Censorship and Violence

The Iranian regime’s leadership has reacted to the ongoing wave of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, the...

Iran’s New Generation Seeks Nothing but Regime Change

In a silly and desperate statement, the Iranian regime’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian claimed that nothing special is going...

Iran’s Youths Broke the Spell of Fear

One of the main characteristics of the recent protests in Iran is the courage and fearlessness of the people,...

Iran Is on the Brink of a Revolution

The wall of fear has been broken. In many cities across Iran, women are taking to the streets, leading...

Iran’s Regime Claims To Fill Global Energy Gap Despite Crippled Petroleum Sector

In recent weeks, the Iranian regime’s officials have been constantly exaggerating their huge capacity in oil and gas reserves...

Must read

Denmark: Iran would compensate attack

AP: Iran has agreed to compensate Denmark for damage...

Huawei dismisses U.S. calls for probe of Iran business

Reuters: Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said on Wednesday that...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you