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October 5, 2005

Meet Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani - Commander Of Iran's 'Anti-American Qods Force' Already Long At War With America

Topics: Iran

Dan Darling's piece today in the Weekly Standard provides us with several good reasons for paying much more attention to what's going on in Iran, and for not letting Iran's stated objectives involving spreading the "new Islamic revolution" throughout the world to come to continue sliding under our radar. While we're presently occupied with hurricane victims, a SCOTUS nominee, Iraq, an emerging avian influenza pandemic, and, whatever the latest Democratic leftwing rants against President Bush involve, Iran is busy exporting hate and war against America and the West via Islam.

Dan writes that with recent U.S. and British allegations that shipments of explosives similar to those used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are being shipped into Iraq from Iran for use by the insurgency, it is long past time for American policy-makers to examine the role of Iranian Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani and the Qods (Jerusalem) Force unit under his command in fomenting and facilitating anti-American terrorist activity since the September 11 attacks.

Some of Dan's key points include:

(...) The very nature of General Suleimani's position within the IRGC warrants him being on America's radar. As the commander of Qods Force, Suleimani is charged with overseeing the IRGC's extra-territorial operations and, according to Time magazine, he serves as a special advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the issues of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Under Suleimani--and his predecessor Ahmad Vahidi--Qods Force has been linked to nearly every instance of Iranian-backed terrorism over the course of the last decade...

(...) Qods Force has agents in most countries with large Muslim populations and its goal is to "form relationships with Islamic militant and radical groups and offer financial support either to the groups at large or to Islamic figures within them who are sympathetic to the principles and foreign policy goals of the Iranian government." Contrary to the conventional wisdom that rules out Shiite-Sunni cooperation, the analysis also stated that Qods Force had trained more than three dozen Shiite and Sunni foreign Islamic militant groups in paramilitary, guerrilla, and terror tactics, including assassination, kidnapping, torture, and explosives.

(...) Citing a European intelligence official, the Post noted that after the fall of the Taliban al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri (whose relationship with Qods Force goes back at least a decade) negotiated safe harbor for much of the surviving al Qaeda leadership inside Iran, including bin Laden's son and heir apparent, Saad, and the terror network's de facto ministers of war, finance, propaganda, and ideology. Numerous media reports listed future-Iraqi insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi as among these refugees.

(...) While Zarqawi quickly left Iran for Iraq (possibly under duress from Iranian authorities because of both his anti-Shiite views and the government's desire to counter U.S. criticism that Iran was soft on al Qaeda), the rest of the al Qaeda leaders who took refuge in Iran continue to operate.

(...) Despite Iranian claims that any al Qaeda members within its borders are "in custody," these senior leaders appear to continue to operate within what a French counter-terrorism official described to AFP in July 2004 as "controlled freedom of movement"--a controlled freedom due in no small part to the influence of Qods Force.

(...) as early as September 2002 Ali Khamenei placed General Suleimani in charge of organizing various Iraqi groups as part of an Iranian plan to dominate the country following Saddam's removal. Among these targeted groups were the Badr Brigades military wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI is now a key member of the Iraqi ruling coalition), the Mujahideen for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (MIRI), Thar-Allah, and Iran's favorite proxy, the Lebanese Hezbollah.

(...) In August 2004, al-Sharq al-Awsat cited an official who had attended an Iranian military seminar in which General Suleimani stated that Zarqawi and 20 senior members of the terrorist group Ansar al-Islam are allowed to enter Iran whenever they want through border points between Halabja and Ilam in Iraq.

As suggested in the article - so far the discussions over the proper course of US policy towards Iran have primarily focused on the regime's nuclear program. Shouldn't the activities of General Suleimani and Qods Force also be included in that discussion?

Only if we want to survive as a nation and as a culture!!!

What If Iran Gets the Bomb? The Iranian Challenge to the West

Qods (Jerusalem) Force. Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC - Pasdaran-e Inqilab)

Schwappach: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, The Pan Islamic Leader?

Iran denies British attacks link

Posted by Richard at October 5, 2005 8:09 PM

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