Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Messaging on Critical U.S. National Security Issues


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Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has become a dominant force in Iranian military, political, economic and foreign affairs, and its senior commanders often speak publicly on policy issues. This assessment examines messaging over the past three years from senior IRGC officials on issues of critical importance to U.S. national security. These issues include:

• IRGC response to an attack on Iranian territory
• Iran’s involvement in Syria
• Iran’s nuclear program

Officials included in this assessment are members of the IRGC Command Network (IRGC-CN) and Extended Network and occupy key positions in the IRGC.

• For more information on the IRGC-CN, visit

This is not a comprehensive compilation of IRGC messaging. The selected data, however, is a representation of the IRGC’s consistent, unified messaging on these key topics (available evidence does not indicate diverging viewpoints among the IRGC’s senior leadership).

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  • Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Messaging on Critical U.S. National Security Issues

    1. 1. Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Messaging onCritical U.S. National Security Issues Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff Major General Gholam Ali Rashid, Tehran, 2012 Will Fulton, AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst 1
    2. 2. Assessment Overview• This assessment examines messaging over the past three years from senior Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officials on issues of critical importance to U.S. national security. These issues include: • IRGC response to an attack on Iranian territory • Iran’s involvement in Syria • Iran’s nuclear program• Officials included in this assessment are members of the IRGC Command Network (IRGC-CN) and Extended Network and occupy key positions in the IRGC. The IRGC-CN is an informal influence network with ties dating back to the Iran-Iraq War. • For more information, visit command-network-october-10-2012• This is not a comprehensive compilation of IRGC messaging. The selected data, however, is a representation of the IRGC’s consistent, unified messaging on these key topics (available evidence does not indicate diverging viewpoints among the IRGC’s senior leadership). 2
    3. 3. Key Messaging• Iran will consider the U.S. complicit in an Israeli strike on Iranian territory.• Iran will launch missiles at Israeli targets and U.S. interests in the greater Middle East in response to an attack. Iran views U.S. military bases in the region as an opportunity, as they are targets within range of its ballistic missiles.• The IRGC has contingency plans to strike at U.S. and Israeli interests outside of the region in the event of an attack on Iran.• Lebanese Hezbollah would also respond to an Israeli strike on Iran.• Iran will not change its behavior in response to Western sanctions and threats.• Iran believes that the West has used Iran’s nuclear program as an excuse to weaken the Islamic Republic.• Iran has a strategic interest in defending Syria and maintaining the “frontline of resistance” against Israel. Success in Syria will allow Iran to strengthen its defensive position vis-à-vis Israel. 3
    4. 4. IRGC Senior Leadership Structure 4
    5. 5. IRGC Commander MG Mohammad Ali “Aziz” Jafari • Appointed IRGC Commander September 2007, replacing current Senior Advisor for Military Affairs to the Supreme Leader MG Yahya Rahim Safavi. • Appointed by the Supreme Leader to establish and lead the IRGC Strategic Studies Center August 2005. Jafari transformed IRGC doctrine while in this position, reorienting the IRGC toward defending against internal threats and implementing the so-called Mosaic Doctrine. 5
    6. 6. Jafari on the IRGC’s Response to a Military StrikeWould the IRGC consider the U.S. complicit in an Israeli strike?Asked if Israel would launch a unilateral strike against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure: “I doubt that Israel would perform such an attack without thepermission of the United States, because they know of the security of Iran’s nuclear capabilities…. Israel is small and it would only [attack unilaterally] if itwere caught up in madness and insanity. Otherwise, based on observation and extensive research it would be irrational to do so.”1 16 SEP 2012“A possible attack by America against Iran will not be carried out without Israels co-operation. In order to attack Iran, America needs Israel. However, thisneed for *Israels+ collaboration would prevent an attack on Iran due to Israels vulnerability…. Irans programs have been planned for a possibleconfrontation against America, not against Israel…. The presence of those *American military forces near Iran+ will mean that, apart from its missilecapabilities, Iran will be able to damage Americas interests by different means, even at far-off places.”2 28 AUG 2008Does the IRGC believe that a military strike is possible?“War with Iran will happen, although its date and place is not clear.”3 22 SEP 2012“We think there is no way America would launch a widespread attack against Iran because they recognize that they will surely fail.”4 16 SEP 2012How would the IRGC respond to an attack?“Our response to Israel is clear: I think nothing will remain of Israel. Given Israels small land area and its vulnerability to a massive volume of Irans missiles,I dont think any spot in Israel will remain safe…. The US military bases sprawled around Iran are considered a big vulnerability. Even the missile shields thatthey have set up, based on information we have, could only work for a few missiles but when exposed to a massive volume of missiles, the shields will losetheir efficiency and will not work…. If a war breaks out where one side is Iran and the other side is the West and U.S., its natural that a problem shouldoccur in the Strait of Hormuz. Export of energy will be harmed. Its natural that this will happen.”5 17 SEP 2012“In light of the strategic position of the Strait of Hormuz, this issue *closing the Strait+ has never been taken off the agenda.” Commenting on recent tests ofballistic missiles that are able to hit Israel and US bases in the region: “This means that should the enemy try to pose a threat against the Islamic republicfrom outside the Strait of Hormuz, we will have the power to retaliate in kind. This strategy is now on our agenda.”6 4 JUL 2011Would the IRGC launch a pre-emptive attack? 6“The answer to this question is no. Given Iran’s capabilities…there is no need for a pre-emptive attack to stop an enemy strike.”7 4 JUL 2011
    7. 7. Jafari on Iranian Support for Syria“Everyone knows that the Guards had and still has a so-called Islamic Movements unit, which was formed to assist the oppressed and export the Islamicrevolution... Since the establishment of the Quds Force, this unit has aimed to support the oppressed, particularly Muslim nations. In the past, too, anumber of Quds Force members were present in Syria, but this does not mean military presence in this country….“"If we make a comparison [between Iran] and Arab and non-Arab states, we see that Iran has no such presence in Syria. We extend intellectual andconsultancy support to Syria as a part of the resistance ring which the Supreme Leader also referred to, and Iran takes pride in this issue and the aid. TheGuards extends any intellectual and even economic support, but has no military presence, while some countries have no restraints when it comes tosupporting terrorism in this country. We of course strongly condemn this and do not accept it....“Asked about Iran’s security pact with Syria, he said, “This issue depends on the circumstances. In case there is a military attack against Syria, Iran too willextend military support. It is not clear, and it totally depends on the circumstances….”"From the past, there has been unity between Syria and Lebanon, and different conditions apply to [relations] between Iran, Syria, Iran and Lebanon...Decision-making of the resistance forces and Hezbollahs decision-making process is independent of us. Should they go to aid Syria or not depends onthemselves... However, it is natural that since Syrias military forces until a few years ago were present in Lebanon in order to preserve the security of thiscountry, the people and government of Lebanon come to their [Syria] aid after obtaining the necessary permits. But Iran has not had any intervention inthis regard. Of course, it is our assessment that there is no need for external support in order to preserve the security in Syria, since 50,000 popular forcescalled Jaysh al-Shabi are fighting alongside the Syrian military against the coward attacks against Syria conducted by regional and extra-regional forces... Ofcourse, we must know that the resistance front is formed by devout people in different countries. It is not dependent on states, and they will only enter thearena as a [religious] duty....“8 16 SEP 2012 7
    8. 8. IRGC Aerospace Force Commander BG Amir Ali Hajizadeh • Appointed IRGC Aerospace Force Commander October 2009, replacing current IRGC Deputy Commander BG Hossein Salami • Hajizadeh was handpicked by BG Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam to help establish Iran’s artillery and missile program. Moghaddam, who has been called the “father of Iran’s ballistic missile program,” was killed November 2011 in an explosion at a military base outside Tehran. 8
    9. 9. Hajizadeh on the IRGC’s Response to a Military Strike“We cannot imagine the Zionist regime starting a war without Americas support. Therefore, in case of a war, we will get into a war with both of them andwe will certainly get into a conflict with American bases.... In that case, unpredictable and unmanageable things would happen and it could turn into WorldWar III…. Whether the Zionist regime attacks with or without U.S. knowledge, we will definitely attack U.S. bases in Bahrain, Qatar, and Afghanistan.”923 SEP 2012“Iran will not start any war but it could launch a pre-emptive attack if it was sure that the enemies are putting the final touches to attack it.”10 23 SEP 2012“In the event that war breaks out, American bases in the countries surrounding us will be targeted and even the people inside these countries will bethreatened….. We are targeting these bases because we see them as American soil, not Qatar or Bahrain or Afghanistan.”11 23 SEP 2012“We have thought of measures to set up bases and deploy missiles to destroy *thirty-five U.S.] bases in the early minutes after an attack…. All these basesare within the reach of our missiles. Meantime, the occupied lands *Israel+ are good targets for us as well.”12 4 JUL 2012“*Turkey’s NATO missile shield+ is for defending the Zionist regime…. I promise that the missiles, which will be aimed at attacking Israel, will do so and theyshould have no doubt about this. We have made preparations which will disable this missile shield, and we will show our tactics and methods inconfronting this shield, on the day when it happens.”13 28 APR 2012“Initially there were some concerns and *U.S. bases in the region+ were regarded as a threat. However, they are now an opportunity for us and we are notworried at all…. Today our short-range missiles can do what intercontinental missiles do. This is because their bases are close to us.”14 27 APR 2012“We have prepared ourselves, if any threat is staged against Iran, we will target NATOs missile shield in Turkey and will then attack other targets…. We aresure that the missile system is deployed by the US for the sake of the Zionist regime, but to deceive the world people, especially the Turkish people, theyallege that the system belongs to the NATO.”15 26 NOV 2011“*US Navy+ vessels are no longer a threat to us given the level of our military capabilities…. A large carrier with a length of 330 meters, 70 meterswidth, 6,000 forces and 70-80 aircraft aboard is an easy target for us, and if they want to threaten us, we will attack them.”16 9 JUL 2011“Irans missiles have a maximum range of 2000 kilometers and they have been designed for Americas targets in the region and for the Zionist regime….The Zionist regime is 1200 kilometers from Iran but in the event a practical threat appears we are able to target this regime with missiles with a range of2000 kilometers from Semnan and Damghan.”17 5 JUL 2011 9
    10. 10. IRGC Navy Commander BG Ali Fadavi • Appointed IRGC Navy Commander May 2010, replacing current IRGC Command and Staff College Commander BG Morteza Saffari. • Fadavi has held a series of senior IRGC Navy and naval intelligence positions during and after the Iran-Iraq War. 10
    11. 11. Fadavi on the IRGC’s Response to a Military StrikeWould the IRGC consider the US complicit in an Israeli strike?“The Zionist regime has no significance apart from the America, and we should not consider Israel separate from America; thus only Americans have takena threatening position towards Iran but this is also a defensive stance against Iran.”18 5 SEP 2012How would the IRGC respond to a strike?“We do not want the caskets of thousands of American soldiers to be sent from the Persian Gulf to America. But if we see any stupid move of theenemy, this will be only one part of Irans response to abusers…. America knows that the future of the world is related to the future of the Persian Gulf. Ifsomething happens in this region, all their material interests would be in danger.”19 29 JUN 2012“We have already equipped our vessels with missiles with a range of 220 km and we hope to introduce missiles with a range of over 300 km soon…. Wecould target from our shores all areas in the Persian Gulf region, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman.”20 29 JUN 2012 “As our enemy America is reliant on naval power and has used this power for many years to seek hegemony. If they want to take [military] action, this willlikely be from the sea.”21 25 JUL 2012“Being small is a very important factor in the sea, which has many benefits. For instance, it is very difficult for the radar and electronic systems to keepgood track of these vessels. They also make difficult targets, and missile systems are not able to hit these small vessels. In fact, because of their smallsize, they are less vulnerable and more immune to the enemys fire power. On the other hand, we have speed criteria for our vessels; they are veryspeedy, and their speed is more than twice that of the maximum speed of the warships in the world. This provides our vessels with a special capability. Itallows them to arrive at the battle scene very quickly and display a high fire power with the aid of their weapon systems…. Large vessels do not have aplace in the main organization of the [IRGC-N]. The reason is that large vessels are vulnerable; choosing large vessels means that you play in the enemyscourt and under his rules…. Our response is not confined to a specific geography and is not limited to the Persian Gulf. Of course, the geography of thePersian Gulf is very unique, and all these plans are due to the fact that the enemies want to control this geography. Therefore, naturally this placecontinues to be very important.”22 21 SEP 2010 11
    12. 12. IRGC Deputy Commander BG Hossein Salami • Appointed IRGC Deputy Commander October 2009, replacing current Armed Forces General Staff Industrial Preparation, Research, and Support Deputy BG Mohammad Hejazi. • Salami helped establish “Great War Courses” curriculum at Imam Hossein University in Tehran and serves on the faculty of Iran’ Supreme National Defense University. 12
    13. 13. Salami on the IRGC’s Response to a Military StrikeHow would the IRGC respond to a strike?Said Israel lacks “defensive depth” and “its defense structures are very vulnerable to multilateral attacks by Iran and the Islamic Revolutionsbranches, which have a military and offensive arrangement.”23 22 OCT 2012“The Zionist regime’s defense structures are not fit for a large, long war; and if they cross the line from psychological operations they willcertainly be destroyed.”24 17 OCT 2013“Our defense power is based on our defense strategy and the main assumption of our defense strategy is that we enter a widespread war inthe world that would be led by the US…. The beginning of a war is up to the enemy but the end of it is up to us. We have the ability to carryout a war of attrition and destroy the enemy.” 25 23 SEP 2012“We have identified the enemies vital interests and have created an aggressive power structure for hitting a major blow and destroying thesevital interests…. We know that the enemys regional bases, the security of the Zionist regime, the security of energy flow and safety of theenemys military personnel are their vital interests.”26 23 SEP 2012“In designing our strategy we have defined a radius, known as the radius of deterrence, such that it contains all of the enemy’s regionalstrategic interests and so that in the case of war we can manage conflict at any level.” 27 24 JUN 2012“Navy is the basis of our military and defensive strategy in the region…. The Enemy has a deep operational strategy in this region that isconsidered as the crossroad of military and security strategies. The enemy has changed its position from strategic to operationalenvironment….. In such a context, naval battle has become an indispensable part of our strategy in the region.” 28 21 JUN 2010 13
    14. 14. Salami on the IRGC’s response to a strike, Iran’s NuclearProgram, and Support for SyriaWill Iran strike targets outside the region or launch terrorist attacks?“In the case of any offense against Iran we will bring war inside the enemies’ borders. They understand our power and we will not allow any war to bebrought to our territory.”29 7 SEP 2012“The IRGC is ready to confront arrogance on both national and global levels.”30 17 JUL 2010On Iran’s nuclear program“The P5+1 formula is no longer able to prevent the Iranian nation from taking steps in nuclear technology. We are at the apex of our power today andtaking last steps towards victory, and this is the final obstacle.” 31 11 MAR 2013Iranian support for Syria“*Israel+ resorted to this *military+ operation *in Syria+ because they failed to make an achievement in the region; but this operation cannot change thepower equation in the region or in Syria…. The Syrian army and government are making advancement and heading forward in the battlefield and foreigncountries lack the power to wage a massive military intervention, and thus they resort to such fruitless moves.”32 3 FEB 2013 14
    15. 15. Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff MG Gholam Ali Rashid • Oversees military affairs of both IRGC and regular forces (Artesh). • Referred to by Quds Force Commander MG Qassem Suleimani as “our professor” in 2006 address to IRGC commanders. • Was a key IRGC operational planner during the Iran-Iraq War. 15
    16. 16. MG Rashid on the IRGC’s response to a military strike andIranian nuclear programHow would the IRGC respond to a strike?“Iran is developing naval strength, and its presence in coastal and international waters will act as a deterrence force against America and meet the goals ofthe Islamic Republic…. With the power of deterrence and shock/surprise attacks, our armed forces and especially the Navy will crush the enemy. In theevent of their mistake, the enemies of the nation of Iran will suffer the same fate as Saddam and his regime.”33 27 OCT 2012“We are of course always prepared and with the missile power that noble martyr Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam [former head of IRGC ballistic missileprogram killed in explosion at military base outside Tehran, November 2011+ created we will hit all Israeli centers.”34 19 NOV 2012On Irans Nuclear Program“The hegemonic system and its regional supporters should know that, as they could not isolate or weaken the Iranian nation and could not trample uponthe Iranian nations rights through their support for Saddam Hussein and the Baath party, they will not succeed in ignoring the inalienable rights of theIranians by continuing their threats, sanctions and Iranophobia strategy, by resorting to lies and deceitful measures, using arrogant language, or throughhegemonic and bullying behavior.”35 30 APR 2011 16
    17. 17. Armed Forces General Staff Strategic Affairs Deputy andStrategic Deputy to the Supreme Leader MG Mostafa Izadi • Also heads Iran’s Center for Sustainable National Security Studies. • Held several senior command positions in the IRGC Ground Forces during and after the Iran-Iraq War. 17
    18. 18. Izadi on the IRGC’s Response to a Military Strike and Iranian Support for SyriaHow would the IRGC respond to a strike?“In case of military action *from Israel+ we have a process in place, and this process will prepare us to stage a full-scale war.”36 23 JUN 2012Iranian support for Syria“The Islamic Republic supports the reforms that the Syrian people are undertaking internally and we hope that the people of Syria, with the wisdom thatthey possess, pay attention to the enemies’ conspiracies – which aim to distort the original movement – and achieve their goals, with the rationale thatthey possess.”37 23 JUN 2012On Irans Nuclear Program“As the Supreme Leader has stated, nuclear energy is no problem for the enemy. They are just trying to fight the Islamic system as a whole…. Just as theSupreme Leader has said, our people are followers of truth and justice, and the Islamic Republic of Iran has also in the most recent nuclear negotiationsshown its legitimacy, and, likewise, their passivity was shown.”38 23 JUN 2012 18
    19. 19. Armed Forces General Staff Basij Affairs and Defense CultureDeputy and AFGS Spokesman BG Massoud Jazayeri • Appointed head of the newly established Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS) Basij Affairs and Defense Culture directorate May 2012. This directorate oversees the AFGS Bureau of Cyberspace Coordination, Passive Defense Organization, Basij Affairs directorate, Foundation for the Preservation of Sacred Defense Values and Works, and Defense Culture and Propaganda and Basij Affairs directorates. • Jazayeri also serves as the Armed Forces General Staff Spokesman. 19
    20. 20. Jazayeri on the IRGC’s Response to a Military StrikeDoes the IRGC believe that a military strike is possible?“The Quds occupying regime *Israel+ not only lacks the potential and capability to take a military action against our country, but also knows well that it willcause its swift death after firing the first bullet.”39 1 OCT 2012How would the IRGC respond to a strike?“Fortunately our enemies in the region are close to us and in our range. But even if enemies are not physically accessible to us, we have capabilities thatwill be announced at its proper time and will allow us to pursue and confront far enemies and will make them regret their attempts. This is the power andstrength of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”40 28 JAN 2013“The entire occupied lands *Israel+ and all the United States’ illegitimate interests in the region are within reach (of Iranian missiles), and based on thedoctrine of providing a threatening response to threats, once a potential invasion is made, the premeditated scenarios will be staged.”41 1 OCT 2012“It is surprising that a number of US officials are so ill-informed that they do not know their fellow countrymen are in a volatile position in the regionaround the Islamic Republic of Iran…. The IRGCs response to the US terrorist actions will make Americans repent their actions.”42 1 OCT 2012. 20
    21. 21. Jazayeri on Iranian Support for SyriaOn the January 30, 2013 Israeli strike on a Hezbollah military convoy in Syria, he said, “*Israel] resorted to this [military] operation [in Syria] because theyfailed to make an achievement in the region; but this operation cannot change the power equation in the region or in Syria…. The Syrian army andgovernment are making advancement and heading forward in the battlefield and foreign countries lack the power to wage a massive militaryintervention, and thus they resort to such fruitless moves.”43 11 SEP 2009“There is a solemn resolve in the Syrian government for a full-scale confrontation with the enemy, as there is no other way but to expel theterrorists, enemies and aggressors.”44 3 FEB 2013“So far there has been no need for the Syrian friends and allies to enter the fray with full force, and our estimation is that such a necessity will not arise inthe future either.”45 30 JUL 2012He further rejected the Western allegations that the IRGC is aiding the Syrian regime, stressing that in the current situation, Irans support is of a “spiritualand expansive” nature. “However, our support might vary depending on the conditions. It goes without saying that we will respond to threats withthreats.”46 30 JUL 2012“The Zionist regime and the unlawful interests of Syrias enemies are within shooting range of the resistance…. At the right time, the people of the regionwill respond to these operations.” Called the unrest in Syria “one of the biggest psychological operations to subdue the resistance in the region" andpredicted that "the defeat of the enemy will be a major strategic event, which, God willing, we will witness.”47 2 JUN 2012“The time has come to punish Arab and other reactionary forces, including America and England, who are responsible for the unrest in Syria.” He addedthat the “resistance has become institutionalized and no power will be able to destroy it.”48 3 APR 2012“The composition of the Syrian opposition is an expression of the legitimacy of the Syrian government and nation. The US, British, French, Arabreactionaries, Turks, and the Zionist regime currently make up the anti-Syrian ring. This combination is a good indicator of the anti-resistance front.”49 23MAR 2013 21
    22. 22. Senior Advisor for Military Affairs to the Supreme LeaderMG Yahya Rahim Safavi • Commanded the IRGC from 1997 to 2007. • Was senior IRGC operational commander during Iran-Iraq War. 22
    23. 23. Safavi on Response of Iran’s Proxies to Attack on IranDoes the IRGC believe that a military strike is possible?“The internal political conditions of the Zionist regime (of Israel) and the US as well as their economic and military conditions do not allow them to start anew war in the region. Of course they might be able to start it but ending it will not be under their control, but under Irans control.”50 1 JUN 2012How would the IRGC respond to a strike?“The Zionists are living in such international conditions that if they intend to launch an attack against Iran one million Jews will flee Israel in the first one ortwo weeks. Jews are very vulnerable there.”51 3 JUN 2012“If a danger is posed to Iran, we will use different political and other types of measures to defend our interests.”52 16 JAN 2012Will Iran’s proxies respond to an attack on Iran?“If one day the Zionist regime takes a step against the Islamic Republic of Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah can easily respond to this threat…. Lebanon and Syriaare our main partners in terms of defense strategy and the defense of Palestine is in line with our strategic interests.”53 8 SEP 2012“In case of an attack by Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza will also join the fighting…. There will be no need for Iran to launch ballistic missilesat Israel, because all the Zionist cities are within the range of our ally Hezbollahs Katyusha (rockets).”54 24 NOV 2011Will Iran strike targets outside the region or launch terrorist attacks?“In case of any security or military action against Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the powerful Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed AliKhamenei, will decide and arrange the geographical location of the battleground.”55 20 NOV 2011“Wisdom tells that Irans Armed Forces should prepare and strengthen themselves for all-out defense and retaliatory attacks on the enemies even outsidethe region by maintaining their full preparedness and boosting their combat capabilities.” “Americans resort to a military attack is a remote possibility, butif so, Iranians counterattack will not be merely regional, but will cover a vaster scene.”56 24 AUG 2010 23
    24. 24. Safavi on Iranian Support for Syria“Some countries, including the US, the Zionist regime of Israel as well as some Arab and European states, are trying to hinder unity in the Muslim world….To this end, the US has been endeavoring in recent months to sow discord among Muslims by backing terrorists in different countries of the MiddleEast, particularly in Syria.”57 7 NOV 2012“Today there is an intense competition between America and Russia in Syria…. Americans have spent billions of dollars on terrorists in Syria and supportsall of them.”58 6 NOV 2012“In Syria, Turkey, as a US proxy, and the financial support of certain Arab states, are, in fact, the main actors, and they are, of course, the main losers of thisbattle field and have been used like an instrument by the trans-regional powers.”59 24 SEP 2012“Defending the Palestinian nation is in line with our strategic defense interests, and Lebanon and Syria are in our strategic depth.”60 8 SEP 2012“The behavior of the Turkish statesmen toward Syria and Iran is wrong and, I believe, they are acting in line with the goals of America…. If Turkey does notdistance itself from this unconventional political behavior it will have both the Turkish people turning away from it domestically and the neighboringcountries of Syria, Iraq and Iran (reassessing) their political ties…. I think the Turks are treading a wrong path. It might very well be that the path was set forthem by the Americans.”61 13 OCT 2011 24
    25. 25. Armed Forces General Staff Intelligence DeputyBG Gholam Reza Mehrabi • Has held a series of senior intelligence positions in the IRGC since the Iran- Iraq War. • Mehrabi traveled to Baghdad with Defense Minister BG Ahmad Vahidi in October 2012 for defense cooperation talks with Iraqi officials. 25
    26. 26. Mehrabi on the Iranian nuclear programRegarding suggestions by some Iranian officials that Tehran should negotiate with the U.S. over Iran’s nuclear program, he said, “If we back down they willadvance further, therefore we resist. Iran is a great country with abundant holdings; it has a powerful military, intelligent people, decisive leadership, manynatural resources and energy. Therefore, if we are present and aware nothing will happen.” Mehrabi also dismissed the idea that negotiations will result insanctions being lifted: “This is a lie. The goal of sanctions is to pit the people against the authorities, but one must accept that we have managed powerfullyand moved pass these problems.” 62 16 FEB 2013 26
    27. 27. Senior Advisor to Chief of the Armed Forces General StaffBG Morteza Ghorbani • Commanded the IRGC 9th Badr Division after the Iran-Iraq War. This unit later transformed into the Badr Organization, a Shia political and militant group active in Iraq today. • A 1991 United Nations report cites an Iraqi source accusing Ghorbani of inciting riots in Kut and Basra, Iraq. 27
    28. 28. Ghorbani on the IRGC’s Response to a Military Strike and Iranian Support for SyriaHow would the IRGC respond to a strike?“Everything depends on one command from the Supreme Leader, Imam Khamenei, on whose order 2,000 missiles will hit *the enemy’s] airports andseaports.”63 26 FEB 2013Iranian support for Syria“Iran will never allow Syria to fall into the hands of colonialists, nor will we allow the innocent Muslims of Syria to be humiliated.”64 14 JAN 2013 28
    29. 29. Head of the Basij OrganizationBG Mohammad Reza Naghdi • One of the founding members of IRGC Intelligence. • Commanded “popular forces” in Bosnia during the Bosnian War. 29
    30. 30. Naghdi on IRGC Response to a Military Strike“America is so weak that if the Islamic Republic starts a military attack, America will not give a military response and will beg for negotiations…. US vesselsof the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, its ground forces in Kuwait and air forces in Qatar are all encircled by mujahids of the Islamic ummah who are counting theseconds until they receive an order to obliterate America.”65 15 NOV 2011 30
    31. 31. Deputy Head of the Basij OrganizationBG Ali Fazli • Headed the IRGC Intelligence unit for a period during the Iran-Iraq War. • Also commands the Imam Hadi Base, which is tasked with providing tactical training to Basij Ashour and Al Zahra battalions. 31
    32. 32. Fazli on the IRGC’s Response to a Military Strike“The dear warriors of Islam are monitoring the sworn enemies of Islam day and night on land, in sea and in the air, and if they decide one day to threatenIran from the Persian Gulf and from the areas around the Islamic Iran, they should realize and believe that the Persian Gulf will not be safe for anyone if itis not safe for us.”66 25 AUG 2010 32
    33. 33. Head of the Passive Defense OrganizationBG Gholam Reza Jalali • 33
    34. 34. Jalali on Iranian support for Syria and Iran’s nuclear programIranian support for Syria“Iran is a powerful country in its encounters with the Global Arrogance in the soft war, the front line of which is the conflict in Syria. We hope that Syria willbe able to overcome its problems, because if Syria wins this war we will be able to strengthen our defensive position against Israel and take a large steptowards becoming a regional power.”67 22 NOV 2012On Irans Nuclear Program“One of our plans pertains to confronting hard threats and includes strengthening the countrys executive sectors, building shelters and the like…. In thisfield we have implemented important projects in the telecommunication, TV and radio, and nuclear sectors, one of which is the parallel enrichmentcomplex in Fordo that is one of the masterpieces of civil defense.”68 7 OCT 2012“We will move our uranium enrichment centers to more secure locations should conditions require.”69 14 DEC 2011 34
    35. 35. Former IRGC Mohammad Rasoul-Allah (Greater Tehran) unitCommander BG Hossein Hamedani • The Wall Street Journal reported in August 2012 that Hamedani is currently overseeing aspects of Iran’s military operations in Syria. • Hamedani served as the Basij Forces Deputy Commander during the 2009 post-election unrest in Iran, and was promoted to Greater Tehran IRGC Commander three months after this event. • Hamedani was Greater Tehran IRGC commander during the period in which he is quoted. 35
    36. 36. Hamedani on the IRGC’s response to a military strike andIran’s nuclear programDoes the IRGC believe that a military strike is possible?“The Americans and capitalist countries are always threatening us with attack, and the plan for attack was on the table for Bush and is now on the table forObama. But they haven’t attacked, because they don’t have the courage. The electric shock of the Sacred Defense has left them shaken. This is not aslogan, this is their own words.”70 22 NOV 2011Iran’s nuclear program“The United States knows that we do not need nuclear weapons and they (US officials) try to create a phobia about the Muslim nations in the world byclaiming that they are aggressive in order to make Americans follow their policies…. The West and arrogant powers have definitely understood that nuclearweapons are futile against a united and resistant nation.”71 13 AUG 2010 36
    37. 37. Citations1 – “Iran Guard Corps Commander: In case of an attack no place in Israel will be left intact,” Farda News, September 16, 2012. Available in Persian: – “Iran Guard Corps commander on ‘structural changes,’ independent missile command,” Mehr News, August 28, 2008. Available on Lexis-Nexis.3 –“Jafari: Enmity with the Zionist regime ends in physical confrontation,” ISNA, September 22, 2012. Available in Persian: – “Iran Guard Corps Commander: In case of an attack, no place in Israel will be left intact,” Farda News, September 16, 2012. Available in Persian: – “IRGC Commander Warns of Iran’s Devastating Response to Israeli Attack,’” Fars News Agency, September 17, 2012. Available: – “Iranian Guards Ready To Close Strait of Hormuz,“ NOW Lebanon, July 4, 2011. Available: – “Iran Guard Corps Commander: In case of an attack no place in Israel will be left intact,” supra8 – “Jafari: We will not preemptively attack,” IRNA, September 16, 2012. Available in Persian: Translation by Ali Alfoneh.9 – “Israeli Strike On Iran Would Trigger World War III: IRGC General.” Mehr News, September 23, 2012. Available on World News Connection.10 – “Iran could launch pre-emptive Israel strike,” Reuters Online, September 23, 2012. Available: – “Hajizadeh announced: Possibility of World War,” Jahan News, September 23, 2012. Available in Persian: – “Commander: IRGC Will Destroy 35 US Bases In Region If Attacked,” Fars News Agency, July 4, 2012. Available: – “Hajizadeh: Incurable disease will be the consequence of the missile shield on future generations,” Fars News Agency, April 27, 2012. Available in Persian: .14 – Ibid.15 – “IRGC Commander: Iran To Target NATO Missile Shield If Attacked,” Fars News Agency, November 26, 2011. Available: – “Commander Stresses IRGCs Ability To Target All US Vessels, Bases In Region,” Fars News Agency, July 9, 2011. Available: 37
    38. 38. Citations17 – “Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh Comments on Range of Iranian Missiles,” Fars News Agency, July 5, 2011. Available on World News Connection.18 – “IRGC Navy Commander: Americans Will not Leave the Region Intact with the Slightest Folly,” Fars News Agency, September 5, 2012. Available in Persian: – “Navy Commander Warns US Against Attacking Iran,” Mehr News, October 5, 2012. Available on World News Connection.20 – “Iran expects to equip Gulf ships with missiles soon,” Reuters Online, June 29, 2012. Available: – “IRGC Navy Commander Comments about Reason for Eminent Supreme Leader’s Trip to Hormozgan,” Khorasan News, July 25, 2012. Available in Persian: – “Our Defense Potential is Higher Than What Enemy Can Understand,” Jam-e Jam Online, September 21, 2010. Available on World News Connection23 – “Commander Says Iran To Overcome Sanctions Calmly, Firmly,” IRNA, October 22, 2013. Available on World News Connection24 – “Salami: Nuclear weapons are red line for the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine and belief,” Sepah News, October 17, 2013. Available in Persian: – “Salami: War with Israel is a historic opportunity for Iran,’” Fars News Agency, September 23, 2012. Available in Persian: – “Iran Has Detailed Information On Enemies Vital Interests,” Fars News Agency, September 23, 2012. Available: – “IRGC Deterrence Radius,” Fars News Agency, June 24, 2012. Available: – “IRGC Commander Highlights Irans Naval Strategy In Region,” Fars News Agency, June 21, 2010. Available: – “IRGC Deputy Commander: We Will Bring War Against Iran to Inside the Border,” Fars News Agency, September 7, 2012. Available: – “Iran missiles can hit enemy of any size - top Guards Corps official,” Press TV Online, July 17, 2010. Available on World News Connection.31 – “Commander Salami at the Region 13 Martyr’s congress,” Sepah News, March 11, 2013. Available in Persian: - “Commander: Israeli Airstrike Unable to Change Balance in Syria, Region,” Fars News, February 3, 2013. Available: – “Commander Rashid: We Will Determine the Enemy’s Fate in War,” Khabar Online, October 27, 2012. Available in Persian: – “Commander Rashid: In Case of Attack We Will Hammer Every Zionist Center,” Fars News Agency, November 19, 2012. Available in Persian: – “Senior Commander Downplays Enemy Plots Against Iran,” Fars News Agency, April 30, 2011. Available: – “Our Strategy is Threat Against Threats,” Fars News Agency, June 23, 2012. Available in Persian: – Ibid.38 – Ibid.39 – “Iran Has Contingency Plans For Military Response To Aggressions,” Fars News Agency, October 1, 2012. Available: 38
    39. 39. Citations40 – “Jazayeri: I deny there was an explosion at Fordow,” ISNA, January 28, 2013. Available in Persian: – “Iran Has Contingency Plans For Military Response To Aggressions,” supra.42 – Ibid.43 – “Commander Warns US of IRGCs Crushing Response to Terrorist Acts,” Fars News Agency, September 11, 2009. Available: – “Commander Warns Israel of Syrias Crushing Response,” Fars News, February 3, 2013. Available: - “Syria, imminent site of third US heavy defeat in region,” Press TV, July 30, 2012. Available: – Ibid.47 –– “Hand of Resistance on Trigger,” Mashregh News, June 2, 2012. Available on World News Connection.48 – “Iranian Commander Says Contributors to Syrian Unrest Should be Punished,’” IRNA, April 3, 2012. Available on World News Connection.49 – “Commander Jazayeri’s reaction to the Zionist regime’s apology to Turkey, ABNA, March 23, 2013. Available in Persian: – “Commander Says Any New US-Israel Launched War in Region ‘Under Iran’s Control,’” IRNA, June 1, 2012. Available on World News Connection.51 – “One Million People To Flee Israel In Case Of Irans Reprisal For Israeli Attack,” Fars News Agency, June 3, 2012. Available: – “Leaders Aide: Iran To Use All Means To Defend Interests,” Fars News Agency, January 16, 2012. Available: – “Iran: Military Advisor Says Hizballah Can Respond to Israel’s Threats,” IRNA, September 8, 2012. Available on World News Connection.54 – “General Safavi Says Iran Will Retaliate in Case of US, Israeli Military Attack,” Fars News Agency, November 24, 2011. Available on World News Connection.55 – “Leaders Top Aide: In Case Of US Attack, Iran Will Choose Battlefield,” Fars News Agency, November 20, 2011. Available: – “Leaders Aide Urges Iran To Hit Enemy Outside Region,” Fars News Agency, August 24, 2010. Available: – “Iranian Commander Warns Of Enemies’ Plots To Disunite Muslim Nations,” Fars News Agency, November 7, 2012. Available: – “Iran: Leaders Military Aide Says US, Russia Vying for Influence in Syria,” Mehr News, November 6, 2012. Available on World News Connection.59 – “Leader’s Aide Views Turkey As ‘Losing Side’ In Syria,” Fars News Agency, September 24, 2012. Available: – “Major General Safavi: We must expand the defensive preparation of our students and teachers,” ISNA, September 8, 2012. Available in Persian: – “Leaders Top Military Aide Warns Turkey On NATO Shield,” Fars News Agency, October 13, 2011. Available: 39
    40. 40. Citations62 – “Commander Mehrabi: Triangle of pressure, negotiations, and instability is the goal of the enemy before the elections,” ISNA, February 16, 2013. Available in Persianat: – “Commander Morteza Ghorbani: Everything Depends on an Order from Eminent Supreme Leader,” Student News Agency, February 26, 2013. Available in Persian: – “Iran will not allow Syria to fall into the hands of the Arrogance,” Fars News, January 14, 2013. Available in Persian: – “Commander Naghdi: US behavior today is like the last days of the Shah’s life,” Khabar Online, November 15, 2011. Available in Persian: – “Commander Warns About Irans Response To Potential Threats In Persian Gulf,” Fars News Agency, August 25, 2010. Available: – “Jalali: The Basij must increase the people’s sense of participation in the economic war,” Mehr News, November 22, 2012. Available in Persian: – “Official: Parallel Enrichment in Natanz, Fordo Masterpiece of Irans Passive Defense,” Fars News Agency, October 7, 2012. Available: – “Iran to Move Enrichment Sites if Need Be,” Press TV, December 14, 2011. Available at – “Commander Hamedani: America Does not Dare Attack Iran,” Kayhan News, November 22, 2011. Available in Persian: – “IRGC Commander Stresses Irans Opposition To N. Weapons,” Fars News Agency, August 13, 2010. Available: 40