September 22 marks the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War. But the mullahs’ regime has not abandoned its warmongering policies and plundering national resources for this reason.
Since the 1979 revolution, the medieval mullahs’ regime, due to its reactionary interpretation of Islam, was unable to use the potential released after the revolution. Fearing this potential could soon turn against them and topple their theocratic system, the mullahs founded their regime on domestic oppression and export of terrorism abroad.
In 1980, the regime’s founder, Ruhollah Khomeini, started interfering in Iraq with the export of clerics preaching his brand of reactionary Islam. This interference was a major instigator of Iraq’s fatal mistake in attacking Iran.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) initially participated in defending Iranian people from Iraqi aggression. Many of the MEK supporters were killed or imprisoned during the war. By June 1982, the Iraqis were no longer on Iranian territory. The Iraqis proposed a ceasefire after months of standstill and destruction on June 17, 1982, but Khomeini did not accept. Khomeini welcomed the war as a boon, calling it “a divine blessing,” as he used it demagogically to bash all opposition to his regime as an Iraqi fifth column. The demagoguery did not intimidate the Resistance who began an earnest effort to sue for an end to the war.
Khomeini prolonged this unpatriotic war for eight years, killing one million Iranians, paralyzing two million and displacing two million other people across Iran. The regime’s Ministry of Education announced on January 5, 1989, that during the war, it had sent 440,000 students to the front lines on minefields.
When the regime was forced to accept the ceasefire with Iraq, due to the Iranian Resistance’s international campaign for peace and facing a war-torn and restive society, Khomeini brutally ordered the massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly MEK members, to stabilize his regime.
As mentioned earlier, export of crises abroad has been a pillar of the existence of the mullahs’ regime. The regime’s officials on many occasions described Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, particularly Iraq, with its overwhelming Shiite majority, as their “strategic depth.” To preserve this so-called “strategic depth,” the regime established the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force. Before the establishment of this force in the Iranian regime, the activities of the terrorist Quds force existed in other forms and by other groups.
The 9th Badr Brigade of the IRGC, which was founded during Iran-Iraq war and consisted of some Iraqi war prisoners and those expelled from Iran, is one of these organizations. Two Iraqi terrorists who were active in the 9th Badr Brigade in those days were Abu Mahdi Mohandes, who later became Deputy Chief of the Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) of Iraq (Al Hashd-al Sha’bi), who was on the US terrorist list along with the future commander of the IRGC Quds Force Qassem Soleimani. Both were killed in an airstrike on January 3, 2020. Another terrorist was the IRGC Brigadier General Hadi Ameri, who later served as a minister and member of parliament in the regime’s puppet governments in Iraq.
In the 1980s, a more critical part of the IRGC’s terrorist operations in Lebanon took place. The forces, later known as the “Lebanese Corp” in the IRGC, led by IRGC Brigadier General Hussein Dehghan (Minister of Defense in Hassan Rouhani’s first government), led to the formation of Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The Quds Force
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in a detailed report published July 1, 2020, explained the formation of the Quds Force.
“The Quds Force, or Quds Corps, officially operates outside of Iran, although in times of crisis, such as the November 2019 popular uprisings, they are brought in to suppress uprisings and attack the Iranian people. With the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, and the extensive participation of the Quds Force under the command of Qassem Soleimani in supporting the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, the name of the Quds Force and Soleimani was published more than ever in the international media,” read the NCRI’s report.
“The Quds Force plays a very special role in the IRGC and is tasked with orchestrating the regime’s meddling in countries of the Middle East region, from Iraq to Syria and Yemen, and as far as the African continent,” the report adds.
Huge Financial institutions in Iran, such as Astan-e Quds Razavi, which are directly overseen by the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, are funding the terrorist operations of the Quds Forces and IRGC.
In another exclusive report published on November 8, 2019, the NCRI wrote: “Astan-e Quds Razavi has played an active role in providing financial, material and logistical support to fundamentalist and terrorist groups within the last few years. Particularly, the heads of AQR have vast relations with Hezbollah’s top officials. It is worth noting that these activities within the past few years have been expanding. For example, Ebrahim Raisi, the custodian of Astan-e Quds (now the regime’s judiciary chief), personally visited Lebanon at the end of January 2018 and met Hezbollah leaders, including Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. He also visited Hezbollah’s military positions in southern Lebanon. [The U.S. Department of Treasury placed Raisi on its sanctions list on November 5, 2019].”
Some examples of the regime’s ongoing warmongering policies
The Iranian regime has never stopped its meddling in neighboring countries and exporting terrorism across the globe.
For example, the Iranian regime has been propping up Bashar-al Assad’s regime in Syria ever since the beginning of protests in Syria in 2011. In this regard, In an interview with the state-run Etemad Online news agency published on May 20, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a former Member of Parliament from Kermanshah and member of the Majlis (Parliament) National Security Commission, said: “When I went to Syria, some complained that I had caused expenses, but I will say this again: We may have given $20-30 billion to Syria. The money of our people was spent there.”
During a press conference on September 30, the NCRI’s US representative office revealed details of the Iranian regime’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil refinery. According to this report, the IRGC air force’s missile and drone unit carried out the attack on September 14, 2019. Again, based on the information obtained by the MEK network from inside Iran, the cruise missiles fired at the Aramco refinery on Saudi soil were fired by the IRGC’s naval missile unit. “The location of the missile center is located just behind the IRGC barracks, known as the Ismail Daghayeghi Garrison. The address of the garrison is a few minutes away from Aghajari Road to Behbahan in the south of Omidiyeh (in Khuzestan province, southwestern Iran). This garrison belongs to the third region of the IRGC navy. The Daghayeghi Garrison is located a few minutes away from the Omidiyeh base, the former 5th airbase at Omidiyeh, the site of the operation to fire at the Aramco refinery,” read the report.
In this regard, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a report to the UN Security Council, confirmed that missiles used to attack Saudi Arabia last year were “of Iranian origin.”
In July 2020, the IRGC tested new ballistic missiles during the second day of the final stage of their naval drills in southern Iran.
An example of the regime’s global terrorism is the foiled bombing plot targeting the NCRI’s “Free Iran” gathering in June 2018 in Paris. The regime’s “diplomat terrorist,” Asadollah Assadi commanded the terrorist plot against the NCRI’s gathering. Assadi and his three accomplices are on trial in Belgium on charges of terrorism.
Who Pays the price?
The Iranian people have been paying the price of the regime’s warmongering policies. To continue its belligerence, the mullahs’ regime has been plundering the national wealth, thus forcing people into poverty. According to the reports tallied by the MEK, so far over 106,000 people have died due to the coronavirus outbreak in Iran. The regime could have prevented this tragedy or reduced the number of victims by using its vast financial resources to help the people.
In this regard, the state-run Jomhuri-e Eslami daily, in its editorial on April 12, wrote: “Considering the economic recession caused by the coronavirus, what will the big financial institutions such as the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, the Mostazafan Foundation of Islamic Revolution and Astan Quds do if they do not spend their money for the impoverished people?”
The state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily on September 9, while quoting Ahmad Tavakoli, a former MP, wrote: “Today we are facing careless officials and corruption in the system. Inappropriate patterns for running the country are pursued. Conflict of interest is frustrating everyone. Also, the unfair distribution of income is unjust and cruel. The difference between social classes is rampant in society, causing people to be crushed under pressure.”
The regime continues its warmongering policies and terrorism while the people of Iran are grappling with different crises. The regime’s funding of terrorist groups and racing toward obtaining weapons of mass destruction are a threat to world peace and security.
Therefore, it is imperative to hold the regime to account for its terrorism and warmongering to secure peace and stability in the region and around the globe. As the NCRI’s president- elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, has said: “This regime must not be allowed to acquire even a single bullet. It must not pocket profits from a single barrel of Iranian oil. And it must not spend even a single dollar from revenues that belong to the Iranian people for its own survival.”