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January 26, 2007

Iran Caught In Another Lie - Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Director Of Operations Arrested In Iraq By U.S. Forces

Topics: Iran

Only 12 days ago, Iran denied that the men arrested in Iraq by U.S. forces were involved in backing insurgents:

Iran's government denied the five detainees were involved in financing and arming insurgents and called for their release along with compensation for damages.

``Their job was basically consular, official and in the framework of regulations,'' Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Sunday. ``What the Americans express was incorrect and hyperbole against Iran in order to justify their acts.''

At the time, the U.S. military said otherwise:

The U.S. military said the five Iranians detained last week in the Kurdish-controlled northern city of Irbil were connected to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard faction that funds and arms insurgents in Iraq

The military said the Quds Force faction of the Revolutionary Guard, a hard-line military force that reports directly to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is ``known for providing funds, weapons, improvised explosive device technology and training to extremist groups attempting to destabilize the Government of Iraq and attack Coalition forces.''

Now we're learning more about the Iranian "consulars" and the American "hyperbole against Iran." One of the Iranians detained by U.S. forces during the raids over the past month was the director of operations for Iran's Revolutionary Guard Quds faction, the organization responsible for funding and arming Iraqi militants:
At least eight Iranians have been detained in Iraq recently, including two diplomats in a Dec. 21 roundup of a group of 10 suspects. The diplomats were interrogated and released to Iranian officials eight days later.

Six others were captured Jan. 11 at an Iranian liaison office in the northern city of Irbil. One was released and five are still believed in U.S. custody.

"Some of those we've arrested are Quds Force operatives. One of them was director of operations for the Quds Force" who was in the country without the knowledge of Iraqi security officials, he said.

The ambassador, who has been nominated by President Bush as Washington's envoy to the United Nations, said U.S. forces were detaining Iranians because "we've had a good understanding of the equipment that comes across (the border), particularly about the EFPs (explosively formed projectiles)." Those are high-tech roadside bombs capable of piercing armor on U.S. vehicles.

"And (we're) also concerned about the training and the money and the influence" by Iran inside Iraq.

Isn't this what Rumsfeld was saying about Iran back in March 2006?
"They are currently putting people into Iraq to do things that are harmful to the future of Iraq," he told a Pentagon news conference. "And it is something that they, I think, will look back on as having been an error in judgment."

He did not elaborate except to say the infiltrators were members of the Al Quds Division of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the network of soldiers and vigilantes whose mandate is to defeat threats to the 1979 Islamic revolution. The Al Quds Division is responsible for operations outside Iranian territory.

We're talking here about this Qods (Jerusalem) Force, also called Al-Quds Force or simply Quds Force:

... an elite unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that carries out operations outside of Iran.[1] Its main activity is conducting para-military training for Islamic revolutionary groups both in Iran and in the Sudan, as well providing organizational, financial, and military support, and pre-attack planning.[2] The group maintains and builds contacts with underground Islamic militant organizations throughout the Arab World.[1] It also collects strategic and military intelligence around the world, possibly having operatives in the United States.[2] Qods Force was founded in 1990 and reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.[3][4] Its current commander is Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani.
There's not a lot that's new here. The Qods force has been operating inside Iraq helping the insurgents kill American G.I.s for a long time, and Iran's been lying all along, as usual.

And we're suppose to trust Iran when it says its nuclear program is only for "peaceful purposes"? I don't think so.

Update: Good news, the U.S. is finally wising up! U.S. order: Kill or capture Iranian agents inside Iraq. It sounds as though those rules of engagement I've been criticizing are finally changing - the gloves are off - and we're finally begining to fight to win instead of fight and retreat.

Related:
U.S. had "catch and release" policy on suspected Iranian agents until recently
Iran's Deadly Subversion

Posted by Richard at January 26, 2007 7:22 AM



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