NCRI Exclusive: Revealing IRGC’s Fear of Arbaeen Ceremony and Its Plan of Oppression
Qassem Soleimani standing with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the commander of the terrorist Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi
Iran’s regime has resorted to widespread and unprecedented oppressive measures, in absolute fear of the Iraqi people’s uprising against the Iranian regime, which has left around 200 dead and 7,000 wounded. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Quds Force, commanded by Qassem Soleimani, have deployed new forces from Iran to join those already stationed in Iraq. Militant proxies from other countries of the region have also relocated to Iraq in the direction of the IRGC.
Widespread deployment of IRGC forces to Iraq
According to reports obtained from inside the regime, including from the IRGC by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK), Tehran has dispatched a large number of IRGC and paramilitary Basij forces from different Iranian provinces to Iraq.
The IRGC has systematically deployed part of its troops to Iraq from different Iranian provinces. They have been dispatched in the form of battalions under the pretext of providing security. These forces are stationed in key cities such as Karbala, Najaf, etc.
According to this report, the IRGC’s headquarters for intelligence has deployed a number of its important intelligence agents from different Iranian provinces to Iraq. The intelligence forces are briefed that they are on a special mission and they will be organized in different Iraqi provinces.
Some of the IRGC’s personnel are entering Iraq under the pretext of providing services and guiding pilgrimage convoys.
The IRGC has tried to send some its forces and Bassij, along with their family members, as pilgrimage convoys to Iraq.
IRGC units’ direct presence in oppressing Iraqi people.
For the past three years, the IRGC has stationed some of its units, in particular, those from border provinces who are familiar with Arabic or Kurdish languages, in major Iraqi cities such as Baghdad, on a full-time basis. The tour of duty in Iraq is up to three years.
These personnel helped the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in controlling and oppressing the Iraqi people, and have been made familiar with Iraq and its customs. Their mission is to share the experience with the PMF and IRGC that leads to identifying and oppressing dissidents. According to reports obtained from inside the IRGC, a number of these personnel were wounded in oppressing the recent Iraqi people’s uprising. In addition, some of these personnel who had recently finished their service in Iraq and had gone to their provinces in Iran had been re-deployed to Iraq for the Arbaeen ceremony. (Arbaeen is one of the most important Shiite religious observances, which takes place on October 19 this year). The deployed IRGC members are supposed to stay at least 20days after Arbaeen in Iraq, in order to prevent further protests.
Using IRGC-affiliated Iraqi groups for oppression
According to the reports, Qassem Soleimani went to Baghdad during the first days of the recent uprising, and in meeting with the PMF and other IRGC-affiliated Iraqi groups’ leaders, briefed them about plans to control and oppress the population during the Arbaeen ceremony. After Soleimani’s briefing, Abu-Mehdi Mohandess, the deputy commander of the PMF, briefed different PMF groups over the oppression. He told them that the situation in Iraq is explosive and these PMF groups should be prepared to confront an emergency situation. Different IRGC-affiliated groups, such as the Badr Brigades, Kataeb-ol Hezbollah, Al-Nojaba group, Asaeb Ahl-al-Hag group, Ashura’s Seraya group, etc. have specific missions for controlling the Arbaeen ceremony.
IRGC deploys forces from Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey to Iraq
According to information obtained from sources inside the IRGC, this year 12,000 people from Azerbaijan have been deployed to Iraq via Iran, in coordination with the Quds Force, the Islamic Development Organization, Oghaf Organization, and the Foreign Ministry.
Some of these people are on the IRGC payroll and work for the Iranian regime in Azerbaijan. These people don’t need a visa when entering Iran and are sent to Iraq in groups of 500. The IRGC has done similar work in deploying Shiites from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey to Iraq to participate in the Arbaeen ceremony, increasing the number of forces as a hollow demonstration of power.