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Afghanistan: IRGC and Quds force; a recipe for disaster?

By: Reza Shafa
According to a report by the office of Maj. Gen. Hassan  Firouzabadi, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the mullahs’ regime armed forces, it is attempting to establish a strong base in neighboring Afghanistan by the usual tactics it has used in the Middle East, that is to exploit the under privileged population by offering them basic necessities. Something the local residents are in desperate need such as rebuilding infrastructures: dams, hospitals, power plants and etc. Afghanistan is no exception to the rule. 

Under the pretext of helping to rebuild, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its surrogate the Quds Force waste no time in pursuing their own intentions which is to stir insecurity and violence in the war torn nation. Obviously, the IRGC is subtle to follow the same scenario as in Iraq and Lebanon, creating front organizations under the cover of humanitarian activities.

The report outlines ways to enhance the regime’s presence in Afghanistan by offering specific guidelines for the IRGC southeastern command in Khatam Base. In particular it instructs the base to begin with construction of major highways, rebuilding power plants, hospitals and other services for the locals.

However a little further down, the cynical intentions of the regime is revealed when it calls for sending the Khatam’s most professional men to do the job by putting strong emphasis on recruiting susceptible individuals for so-called original Islamic training. From there, it is a downward slip ending up in a Quds Force training camp in Iran.

In this case however, the IRGC has pulled out a new trick by offering Afghanistan training of its anti-narcotic force by Iranian State Security Forces (SSF) instructors. SSF itself is an indivisible part of the IRGC and most of its high ranking officers had previously been commanders of the IRGC.

Furthermore, the offer itself carries an opportunity for the Quds Force to dispatch highly professional intelligence agents to that country.

Another instruction mentioned in the report is to deport more than 2,000 Afghan refugees to their country and among them the Quds Force would be able to send its own recruits as deportees.

The report suggests that Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) should hold families of Afghan immigrants as collateral to make their spouses cooperate with the MOIS and the Quds Force.

It is also intended to have the monopoly of printing the text books for Afghanistan by the IRGC’s printing houses in Iran. This will provide a unique and constant opportunity for the Quds Force to have a free pass into that troubled nation.

In addition, the report gives a specific guideline to Quds Force and Ansar Base of the IRGC to hold training courses for Afghan honor students in Tehran and try to recruit some for their own terrorist objectives once they return home.

The Quds Force does not stop here. It is planning to open a higher education institution for training teachers called Ibn-Sina. In all levels of its construction project, the Quds Force agents are present and guide its entire operation.

On October 25, 2007, as Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran eloquently put it when the IRGC and Quds Force were designated by the U.S. State and Treasury Departments, "The IRGC’s raison d’être – as stipulated in the regime’s constitution and reflected in its practices over the past three decades – is to protect the clerical regime through the export of terrorism and fundamentalism and brutal suppression in the country. In addition to its involvement in the production of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons, the IRGC has carried out hundreds of terrorist operations abroad and tortured and executed tens of thousands of political prisoners at home."

European countries should act not losing any more valuable time by following suite and designate the IRGC and Quds Force before it is too late.   
Reza Shafa is an expert on the Iranian regime’s intelligence networks, both in Iran and abroad. He has done extensive research on VAVAK (MOIS), IRGC’s Intelligence Office, and Quds Force among others. Currently he is a contributor to NCRI website.