Tuesday, November 3, 2015

IRGC Commander on Russia

“Our comrade in the north who has come to Syria now and is giving out military aid is actually seeking to secure its own interests, and probably is not after keeping Assad in power.” – IRGC Commander Gen. Aziz Jafari (Sharq, 3 November)

Photo: Iran’s Sharq newspaper headlining Gen. Jafari’s quotation. URL:http://sharghdaily.ir/News/77591 (Farsi)


15 comments:

Brig. Gen. Basrawi IQAF.ret said...

Mr Jafari's statement reflects the oppositional attitude that the Iranian military cadre has to Iran's continued engagement in the peace talks in Vienna.

Piruz Mollazadeh said...

I wonder if all this is for domestic consumption or if he's actually doing foreign policy (by sending a message to the Russians).

Anonymous said...

Russia will sell Assad out, if Najibollah's tragic fate in Afghanistan is any barometer of Russian treachery. Also Russians (Soviets) have been playing Arabs since 1945 by selling them inferior weapons and then leaving them high and dry. Russian's are far more Islamophobic that America or the west in general and Putin is hardly a knight in shining armor.

Anonymous said...

Who does he think he is? an elected politician? He is damaging the country's national interest. He should be given a stiff warning before he does any further damage to the country.

Mark Pyruz said...

"is actually seeking to secure its own interests" meaning reasons that include the port of Tartus and fighting Jihadists beyond Russian territory.

The sentence segment "and probably is not after keeping Assad in power" is not necessarily different than the public position of Iran, where both Iran and Russia maintain it is up to the Syrian electorate to choose.

With rspect I believe a more accurate translation for this segment of the statement to read "it is possible" rather than "probably."

It's also important to point out the context of that statement within Jafari's speech, that being the IRGC Commander attaches a high level of importance to Syria and Assad's contribution towards the "resistance front," a front that does not pertain to Russian ME policy.

This interpretation is reinforced by Jafari's concluding sentence on the topic: "In any case, [Russia] has arrived…and it is assisting the resistance front."

Off-topic, a good read penned by Mousavian:

”http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/11/iran-leader-regional-crises.html

Anonymous said...

I think this is no surprise and it is what I also commented in another thread here. The big powers, i.e. Russia and US are only looking for their own interests...of course this must be somehow aligned with their proxy regional allies but not fully be aligned with that. This is a mistake many people make when analyzing reports from the region that Iran and Russia are 100% aligned on how to proceed...they are only aligned on the "framework on how to contain and resist the growth of ISIS based organizations and territorial integrity of Syria". Beyond that the differences are more than agreements in my opinion.

Nader Uskowi said...

Mark, with respect, you didn't need to tell us what Jafari meant, he was very clear himself and to the point. He's unhappy with the Russian strategy in Syria, and even cynical about their goals.

Nader Uskowi said...

Piruz jan, As I said after the surprise Russian military involvement in Syria last month, Russia's short-term goals were preventing regime collapse and stabilizing the government's hold on Damascus-Homs-Latakia axis, which also meant the continuation of their air and naval bases on the Mediterranean. They generally shared those goals with Iran, although not so sure what the Iranians think of their bases in the long-run.

But Russia's long-term strategy toward Syria could be different from Iran's. Unlike Iran, Russia does not want the conflict to be defined and fought around sectarian fault lines. They have a bigger Sunni population inside Russia than in some Middle Eastern countries. Identifying too closely with Iran, Hezbollah and other foreign Shia militias is not a good idea. Assad and his father were once identified with secularism, but now Bashar's future is too much intertwined with Alawi/Shia factions, and in the long run, not as attractive a figure to Russia.

Russia also has had long relations with some major Sunni countries, which were interrupted by the fall of the Soviet Union, and now Putin would like to resurrect some of the glories and relationships of the past. They can more easily deal with secular dictatorships in Sunni countries than a Shia theocracy in Iran.

On day-to-day basis, the Russian army still carries the organization culture of the Red Army, and when they enter a territory, they want to dominate everything. They love to see Iran provide manpower directly and through its proxies in Syria, complementing their own air power and their other strength, like intel and strategic military planning. But they will not ever consider the Iranians as their equal partner. In their war in Afghanistan, the Afghan army, trained by the Soviets and under an Afghan Socialist government, could not stand their presence, and many senior officers defected to the Mujahedin. Soleimani of course will not play second fiddle to the Russian general in Damascus, and hence increasing tensions in the coming months.

These differences can not, and will not, stop the two to cooperate on short-term goals in Syria and many other areas outside Syria, like arms purchases, and countering U.S. influence in the region. But due to these strategic differences, comments like Gen. Jafari's are not surprising to me.

Anonymous said...

The Russians are only interested in keeping their naval ports in Syria.Iran under the Khameini (mad hatter) has been taken for a very long ride into a supposed Islamic wonderland complete with white rabbit (Zarif) and cheshire cat (Rohani). The writing is on the wall.

Piruz Mollazadeh said...

I expect you're right.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid that you may be right. Trusting Russia is tantamount to suicide just ask the ghosts of Babrak Karmal, Hafizullah Amin, Noor Mohammed Taraki and Najibullah in Afghanistan, not to mention Russian full participation in the gruesome deaths of Kaddafi and Saddam. Russia will sell everyone out, that is the Russian character, just look at all the Natashas in the cat houses of Dubai, Qatar, Lebanon and Europe. Russia is a failed state with no honor and that is why it will never be taken seriously. Iran has been played with for 37 years and the mullah's are dumb and ignorant. Only the Shah understood Russian character and was building a strong Iranian military to keep the Russians at bay. One should never overlook the Russian role in the dismemberment of Iran and the Occupation during WW2. Russia is a natural enemy and an Islamophobic regime. Russia has been exposed as a paper tiger in Syria and is now stuck between the fire and frying pan and does not know know to save face after its airliner was blasted out of the sky by ISIS. It is back peddling at all levels.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing to be afraid of my friend.You summed it up perfectly.Remember after the disaster of 79 followed by 37 years of utter misery Iran is awakening to a new dawn.

Anonymous said...

Made, why you did not post my comment? :(

swakil said...

Russians are not to be trusted. But neither is the US, the shah's puppet master. Neither east nor west. Remember that.

Anonymous said...

swakil...the islamic regimes secret puppet masters are the US and Britain.The documents are there to prove what a bunch of liars the islamic theocracies members are.I hope you realize the Russians and the Chinese are an eastern power that are sucking Iran dry."Neither east nor west", is the biggest lie made up by islamic regime to misslead Iranians into believing they are "independent".They have made Iran more dependent on US and the west when for example Iran needs permission to access its monies for oil deal from foreign banks.The point is the regime and its members have not put their slogans into practice.