Monday, September 17, 2012

Iran Denies Presence of Quds Force Advisors in Syria

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. 


Mark Pyruz said...

Suleimani has stated that Iran has been critical of Syria's militarized response, stating that a law enforcement approach would have been better deployed as per NAJA's role post-2009 election.

Jafari has stated there are IRGC-QF elements in Syria but he has not identified them as "advisers". In my estimation, these elements are involved in intelligence roles and are more accurately characterized as observers.

Anonymous said...

Does saying that they are there as observers preclude the idea that their "observations" serve to shape Iranian advice to Syria's government