Iran’s foreign ministry on Monday denied the presence of the members of the Quds Force in Syria.
“The comments citing General (Mohammed Ali) Jafari on the presence of Revolutionary Guards in Syria were selective and incorrect... and they are not in any way valid,” said foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast. “Iran does not have any military presence in the region, especially in Syria.” (Al-Alam, Iran’s Arabic-language TV network, 17 September)
On Sunday, IRGC Commander-in-Chief Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali “Aziz” Jafari had told reporters in Tehran that members of the Quds Force have been deployed as advisors to Syria.
Earlier today, Al Arabiya reported that Quds Force (QF) Commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani had denied the presence of any QF advisors in Syria and had told the network that remarks attributed to Gen. Jafari were “fabricated” by the media. Soleimani had gone further and denied presence of Quds Force in any foreign countries.
Iran’s foreign ministry’s spokesman is now confirming Al Arabiya’s report. The problem is that Gen. Jafari’s remarks on the presence of Quds Force advisors in Syria were made in a packed press conference and widely reported by Iranian official and semi-official news agencies and major Iranian newspapers and radio and television networks and foreign news organizations present there.
Quds Force was also created precisely to operate outside Iran, in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon and to be the liaison with foreign Islamic movements such as Hezbollah and Hamas. The QF commander is now denying their presence in any foreign country.