London, Asharq Al-Awsat, March 12, 2017- The International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) has published its new report jointly prepared with European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) titled “Destructive role of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in the Middle East.”
The study established that the IRGC is directly involved in the hidden occupation of four particular countries: Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. In all four, the IRGC has a direct, considerable military presence — In the summer of 2016, there were close to 70,000 Iranian regime proxy forces present in Syria.
The IRGC is directly meddling in the internal affairs of eight countries, or it is plotting against their governments. These countries are Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Bahrain, Egypt, and Jordan.
The study established that on the basis of available information, the IRGC has set up terrorist affiliates or networks in at least 12 regional countries. One of the most striking findings of the report was the fact that terrorist activities related to the IRGC have been carried out in 13 out of the 14 countries.
The IRGC has conducted spying and intelligence activities in 12 countries. Most of these countries have arrested or prosecuted the regime’s spies. The IRGC has also sent weapons and explosives on a wide scale to all 14 countries.
In a press conference in Washington, DC on February 14, the National Council of Resistance of Iran exposed the headquarters and 14 IRGC centers where the IRGC trains its foreign mercenaries. The information was obtained by the sources of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) inside the Iranian regime, including within the IRGC.
According to those sources, the camps have been divided based on the nationality of the trainees and the type of training. Both terrorist training and military training for militias are provided, enabling them to better infiltrate and advance the regime’s regional objectives.
Every month, hundreds of forces from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Lebanon — countries where the regime is involved in frontline combat — receive military training and are subsequently dispatched to wage terrorism and war.
Smaller groups are also trained in other countries in order to conduct terrorist acts. In January 2007, the MEK exposed the details of some 32,000 Iraqi agents of the Iranian regime who were operating within Iraq.
The study established that the IRGC’s meddling is not limited to the military sphere and it has a defining role in Tehran’s foreign policy.
In the ruling theocracy’s power structure, foreign policy is shaped by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. As such, the implementation of policies toward some countries has officially been transferred to the IRGC.
In this regard, the IRGC has effectively taken control of the regime’s foreign policy through many of its embassies. The missions in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Yemen, Bahrain and Azerbaijan can be counted in this category.
According to the study, IRGC surrogates are in no way limited to Shi’ite groups, even though Tehran has focused its attention on Shi’ites in various countries of the region, aggravating sectarian tensions while recruiting forces to set up groups and militias tied to the IRGC.