PHOTO: Revolutionary Guards commander Jafari “Continuous conspiracies to confront our system”
Facing difficulties over their intervention in Syria’s civil war, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are focusing on blame of the US.
The commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, told a university graduation ceremony that Iran’s enemies are stirring “continuous conspiracies and successive intrigues in the political, intelligence, cultural, and economic fields in order to confront [Iran’s] Islamic political system and prevent a model of this political system from establishing a great Islamic civilization”.
He added, “The hegemonic system, headed by America along with its regional followers, has focused all of its capacities [against] the progress of the Islamic revolution. By the power and strength of God, however, this concentration is collapsing.”
The IRGC have suffered their most significant losses in Syria’s five-year conflict in the past two months. Syrian rebels and Jabhat al-Nusra have captured two key towns near Syria’s largest city Aleppo which were defended by Iranian troops and Iranian-led Iraqi and Afghan militias. Scores of the defenders were killed, and more men were lost in unsuccessful counter-attacks.
Earlier this month, the Guards acknowledged multiple casualties for the first time, saying 13 of its troops were killed and 21 wounded in the defeat at Khan Tuman, near the Aleppo-Damascus highway. The IRGC has not confirmed the reports of leading MPs that several soldiers were captured.
The defeat has also stoked tension with Russia, the other major ally of Syria’s Assad regime. Russian officials have blamed the IRGC for poor command and organization in the field, while Iranian counterparts have denounced Moscow for failing to provide air support.
Jafari avoided any reference to the issues in his speech. Instead, he proclaimed:
The IRGC and the [paramilitary] Basij, along with the Iranian people, will never allow the pro-Western infiltrators to infect the pure life of the Islamic Revolution.
Inspired by the wise ideas of their great Leader, and the bright horizons of the revolution, the young Guards have come… to play a role in changing the geometry of global power.
The Supreme Leader’s top military aide, IRGC Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, complemented Jafari on Tuesday with warnings of an American attempt to take over the Iranian system.
Rahim Safavi said, in a speech in Esfahan, that the US is seeking to increase influence “in different decision-making bodies”. He said “Islam’s enemies” have set out four “scenarios for our surrender” — “sanctions, soft and smart power, influence, and changing the priorities for the country”.
Head of Ground Forces: We Will Serve in Syria Under Supreme Leader’s Command
General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, the commander of Iran’s ground forces, has reiterated the commitment to military intervention in Syria.
Speaking after a military ceremony in southwestern Iran, Pourdastan said, “We will serve in any geographical setting under the command of the Leader as the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces.”
But Pourdastan disguised Iran’s substantial incursion of commanders and troops as an “advisory” mission, while assuring that the Assad regime will triumph:
The latest developments on the ground in Syria indicate that government forces would only require Iran’s army personnel’s advisory help; our counselling aid has helped Syrian government forces to implement its plans very well.
The realities of the fronts show the triumph of Syrian army. In the future, it is predictable that Syrian flag would fly almost in all parts of the country.
Scientist Kokabee Temporarily Released From Prison
Physicist Omid Kokabee has been temporarily released from Evin Prison on medical furlough, after more than five years in detention.
The physicist had a kidney removed last month after suffering from cancer. He was granted the furlough of one to three months after friends posted bail of around $165,000.
Kobabee, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas, was seized in January when he returned to Iran to visit family. He was charged with “communicating with a hostile government” and “illegal earnings”.
Kokabee’s colleagues believe the Iranian authorities punished the scientist after he refused to work on Tehran’s nuclear program.
In September 2015, prison guards barred Kokabee’s family from visiting him and denied him printed material and a reading light after international campaign groups reported on prison conditions and the detainee’s deteriorating health.