Iran’s new ambassador to Iraq is part of a terrorist network, an advisor of the notorious Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force. Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi replaces Hassan Danaii Far, himself a senior IRGC member.
“The Iranian embassy in Baghdad is considered a strategic post outside the country and the ambassador is a highly important figure,” notes the state-run Asre Iran daily.
Masjedi is often quoted by Iran’s media as a senior advisor to the terrorist Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani, also sanctioned by the West and under a travel ban.
According to the Saudi news site Al Arabiya, “The Revolutionary Guards considers the Iranian embassy in Baghdad of strategic importance within the states that are subject to Iranian influence.
“Since the fall of the former Iraqi regime in 2003, all the ambassadors of Iran to Iraq were members of the Revolutionary Guards.”
In contrast to international political norms, Iran’s embassy in Iraq is not under foreign ministry authority. The IRGC enjoys complete hegemony over this diplomatic post.
Far’s specific mission in Iraq was literally to purge all members of the Iranian opposition, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), through attacks launched by the Quds Force and affiliated Iraqi proxy groups. The MEK was able to resettle all its members to Europe (which is a different discussion).
Masjedi has a dark record of playing a major role in suppressing the Iraqi people and specifically leading genocidal attacks targeting locals of Diyala Province, a melting pot bordering Iran where Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and others used to live in peace prior to Iran’s covert occupation of Iraq from 2003 onward.
The highly-respected, Saudi-founded pan-Arab news outlet Asharq Al-Awsat writes, “…commanders of the Quds Force who supervise the Shi’ite militia leadership in Iraq are Brigadier Generals Mohammed Shahlaei, Mojtaba Abtahi, Iraj Masjedi and Ahmad Forouzandeh, who are all directly supervised by the Quds Forces Commander Qasem Soleimani.”
Masjedi is a loathed figure in Iraq for his efforts to completely restructure the province’s social fabric. He is known for his remarks justifying Iran’s military presence in Iraq.
“The enemy charged towards Iraqi cities and reached Samara and Karbala, and near Iran’s borders in Diyala. And you expect us to remain silent?” he said.
“We must strategically deepen our struggle,” Masjedi explained on January 31t, 2015, shedding light into the dangerous mentality of an individual now appointed as Iran’s top diplomat in Iraq.
This statement is significant when taken together with the fact that Iran remains designated as the leading state sponsor of terrorism and has taken advantage of the Obama administration’s failed policy of delivering Mesopotamia on a silver platter to Tehran’s mullahs.
The IRGC has stationed around 7,000 armed Quds Force-affiliated elements in various cities across Iraq.
Masjedi strongly agrees with senior Iranian officials who underscore the necessity for Iran to support Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and send troops and Shiite militias to the Levant.
“War in that region [i.e., Syria] is in ways providing security for [Iran],” he said.
Masjedi is also known for his comments regarding the battle for the city of Fallujah, a former Islamic State stronghold west of Baghdad, emphasizing, “The involvement of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the battle of Fallujah was in order to preserve Iran’s status as a Shiite center in the world. We are defending Iran and its borders.”
“The next step of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was been the formation of the massive Basij [mobilization] force that is faithful and a friend of Islamic Iran, such as the Iraqi Hashd al Shabi [PMF], which has been established as a powerful army with our organizing and our experience in the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War],” Masjedi said according to a Long War Journal report.
“Many of the militias that are part of the PMF remain hostile to the United States, and some have threatened to attack U.S. interests in the region. One of the more influential militias within the PMF, Hezbollah Brigades, is listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Several influential PMF leaders, including the operational leader of the PMF, are listed by the U.S. as global terrorists,” the LWJ report adds.
Iran’s new ambassador appointment in Iraq provides a clear insight into the terrorist nature of the mullahs’ intentions, and Tehran’s specific objectives of continuing a policy of lethal meddling in Iraq — while using the country as a springboard for further intervention in Syria and beyond.
This is a challenge the new U.S. administration and Congress should meet with a firm policy calling to end Iran’s destructive role in the Middle East.
“The regime in Tehran is the source of the crisis in the region and killings in Syria; it has played the greatest role in the expansion and continuation of ISIS. Peace and tranquility in the region can only be achieved by evicting this regime from the region,”said Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, which is also known as the MEK). He graduated from North Texas University
Shahriar Kia (@shahriarkia) is a political analyst and member of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, which is also known as the MEK). He graduated from North Texas University. You can read Kia’s interview with the Clarion Project here.