Blog-Archive

Suleimani – The Second Most Powerful Man in Tehran

Suleimani

The most interesting Iranian person in the world right now isn’t sitting in Vienna to talk about the nuclear agreement, and isn’t dishing out quirky or alarming quotes from Tehran. He is probably on a plane, flying to and from Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad etc…helping to increase Tehran’s military and political influence.

Meet Qassam Suleimani, commander of the IRGC’s „external“ operations units, better known as the Qods Force. A former CIA chief, John Maguire calls him, „the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today„. Or you can call him by his nickname: Keiser Soze.

Suleimani in Iran

On the outside, he leads a „regular life“. He is 57 years old. He wakes up every day at 4:00 and goes to sleep early at 21:30. He has five children. He takes his wife on some of his many „business“ trips. He suffers from back aches. He never raises his voice (in fact he is silent most of the time) but is gifted with an „understated charisma that makes people pay attention to him.

He is also a decorated war hero from the Iran-Iraq war and is connected all the way up to the Supreme Leader Khamenei himself who has referred to Suleimani as “a living martyr of the revolution.”

Rumours have it that Suleimani recently attempted a coup against Rouhani which was blocked at the last moment by Khamenei himself.“

Running the War in Damascus

In Syria, Suleimani has worked as the liaison between the leaders in Tehran, the Hezbollah chiefs and Bashar al-Assad for the past 3 years. He has built up Assad’s army from the inside after once exclaiming „The Syrian army is useless! Give me one brigade of the Basij, and I would conquer the whole country“.

He works in Damascus from a fortified nondescript building together with a large array of officers: Syrian military commanders, a Hezbollah commander, a coordinator of Iraqi Shiite militias and a close comrade of his, the Basij former deputy commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani.

Once Suleimani got settled in, an immediate sharp increase in Iranian supply flights into the Damascus airport carrying weapons and ammunition was noticed. Thousands of Quds operatives suddenly turned up within the Syrian army and in Assad’s special security service.

Working Behind the Scenes in Baghdad

But, as the ISIS crisis got into Iraq, Suleimani flew out repeatedly to Baghdad. The Guardian says – „Experts agree that it is hard to overestimate Suleimani’s role in Iraq. „At times of crisis Suleimani is the supreme puppeteer…He is everywhere and he’s nowhere. Suleimani is doing in Baghdad what he did in Damascus“ – this time with Maliki instead of Assad.

Under his guidance, Tehran began by supplying Maliki with weapons and militia men as well as flying out drones and jet fighters into Iraq. Judging from Suleimani’s experience in Damascus, one can only expect Suleiman to set up a similar force in Baghdad as well.

In any case, it would be worthwhile to keep an eye out on him at all times…trouble is never far away from him.

 

Source: Iran 24/07

Bericht zu Fact Finding Mission zur Lage kurdischer politischer Parteien im Iran/Irak

Irak, Iran

Bericht zu Fact Finding Mission zur Lage kurdischer politischer Parteien im Iran und kurdischen Irak (Demokratische Partei Kurdistans (Partîya Demokrata Kurdistan – KDP) und Demokratische Partei Kurdistans im Iran (Hezbe Dêmokirate Kurdistane Iran – KDP-IRAN); Komala-Parteien; Partei für ein Freies Leben in Kurdistan (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistanê – PJAK); iranisch-kurdische politische Parteien im Nordirak; Lage in kurdischen Gebieten im Iran; Rückkehr aus Nordirak in den Iran) [ID 259564]

Dokument öffnen Spezieller Bericht oder Analyse: Iranian Kurds; On Conditions for Iranian Kurdish Parties in Iran and KRI, Activities in the Kurdish Area of Iran, Conditions in Border Area and Situation of Returnees from KRI to Iran; 30 May to 9 June 2013

Source: Danish Immigration Service

 

Iraq: UN envoy welcomes relocation of dozens of Iranian exiles to Albania

The top United Nations official in Iraq today welcomed the relocation to Albania of 27 residents from an exile camp near western Baghdad.

„A total of 71 men and women now have safely arrived in Albania and have benefited from the Government of Albania’s offer to accept 210 of the Camp’s residents,“ said the UN Special Representative for the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Martin Kobler.

Some 3,000 residents, most of them members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran, are temporarily housed in a transit facility called Camp Liberty – also know as Camp Hurriya – while the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) carries out a process to determine their refugee status.

Mr. Kobler said in addition to Albania, Germany has offered to relocate some 100 residents. The departure of the group from Iraq is in accordance with the memorandum of understanding of 25 December 2011, which foresees the relocation of the residents to third countries.

„I once again thank both countries‘ governments for their generosity and call on other Member States to receive residents as well,“ the UN envoy said.

The relocation comes just days after two people were reportedly killed and dozens injured in a mortar attack to the camp.

„Last week’s tragic events have once again shown how important it is to relocate the residents to third countries as quickly as possible,“ Mr. Kobler noted.

The camp had previously been attacked in February while most of the residents were sleeping. The attack resulted in six deaths and various injuries.

 

Source: UN News Service

 

Part II: Shiite Holy Sites in Syria

Garrett Nada

Syria is home to some 50 sites holy to Shiites. Some have been badly damaged in the fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels since 2011. At least one shrine has been reportedly desecrated by Sunni extremists. Several top Iranian officials have condemned attacks on holy sites. “Such acts could ignite the fire of religious rifts among followers of the divine religions,” warned Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in May 2013. The following are profiles of seven major holy sites in Syria.

Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque and Shrine
      The gold-domed shrine, located near Damascus, is one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam outside of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It houses the remains of Zaynab, granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed and daughter of Ali ― the fourth leader of the early Islamic empire and one of the most revered figures in Shiism. She was taken captive after her brother Hossein fell in battle against the Ummayad Dynasty near Karbala, which is in present-day Iraq. The shrine commemorates the seventh-century tragedy. The adjoining mosque was completed in 1990 and can accommodate more than 1,000 worshippers.
            Thousands of Iranians reportedly used to visit the site each year before the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011. Shiite fighters from Lebanon and Iraq have since flocked to the area to protect the shrine from extremist Sunni rebels. One Iraqi was reportedly shot by a sniper in May 2013. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Part I: Iran-Syria Religious Ties

Mehdi Khalaji

Iran and Syria are unlikely bedfellows. Iran has been an Islamic republic—and the world’s only modern theocracy—since the 1979 revolution. Syria has been a rigidly secular and socialist country since Hafez Assad took over in 1970. Ethnically, Iran is predominantly Persian, while Syria is predominantly Arab. Yet Tehran and Damascus have one of the region’s strongest alliances—based in part on religion. Iran is Shiite-dominated and Syria is predominantly ruled by Alawites, a Shiite offshoot. They share a common interest in the survival of a minority in the Middle East, which is about 85 percent Sunni Muslim.

      The ties were again reflected in the Iranian regime’s call for volunteers to protect Shiite shrines in Syria in early May 2013, after Syrian rebels reportedly ransacked the shrine of Hojr Ibn Oday, a revered Shiite figure, in Damascus. The Nusra Front, a Sunni militia affiliated with al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for exhuming Oday’s remains. Syria is home to some 50 Shiite shrines and holy places. For centuries, Iranians have performed pilgrimages to Syria. The holiest is the Tomb of Zaynab (left) on the outskirts of Damascus. Mehdi Khalaji explains the religious ties that bind two of the most strategically important countries in the Middle East. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

UN Security Council : Bericht des UNO-Generalsekretärs zu politischen und sicherheitsrelevanten Entwicklungen

Bericht des UNO-Generalsekretärs zu politischen und sicherheitsrelevanten Entwicklungen seit 16. November 2012 (Haftbedingungen; Gewalt gegen Frauen, Kinder und Minderheiten; Angriff auf Camp Hurriya am 9. Februar 2013; humanitäre Lage) [ID 242311]

Dokument öffnen Periodischer Bericht: Second report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 2061 (2012) [S/2013/154]

 

Albanien bietet Aufnahme iranischer Flüchtlinge aus dem Irak an

Lager nahe Bagdad war im Februar angegriffen worden

AFP

Die albanische Regierung hat angeboten, 210 iranische Oppositionelle aus dem Flüchtlingslager Hurrija (Camp Liberty) im Irak aufzunehmen. Sein Land wolle die Mitglieder der Exil-Oppositionsgruppe der Volksmudschahedin „aus humanitären Gründen“ aufnehmen, erklärte Ministerpräsident Sali Berisha am Samstag in einer Erklärung. Darum hätten Vertreter der USA und der UNO gebeten.

 

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