Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution

Iran News Round Up September 29, 2014

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English: Army of the Guardians of the Islamic ...
English: Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution & Islamic Republic of Iran Army used many zu-23 in Iran-iraq war. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by AEI Critical Threats Project Iran Analyst Mehrdad Moarefian and Iran Intern Amir Toumaj, with contributors Chris Rawlins, Diana Timmerman, and Marie Donovan.

 (E) = Article in English

Military and Security

  • Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Haji Zadeh said:
    • On Iran’s downing of an Israeli Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): “After this action, some large countries sent us messages of congratulations… the Israeli aircraft did not post information online; but the information was stored in it, so by destroying it,  [the UAV] did not send any information.”
    • “This is a spy plane, and usually countries do not comment on these UAVs, but given what we know of them in Syria and in some other places such as Karabakh, we are already familiar with this type of aircraft…”
    • “Fighter aircraft are created for carrying out military operations and targeting certain parts of the country, and if we can discover them, we can see the damage; but the spy planes are primarily small and secretive… detection, interception, and destruction of these aircraft is very, very difficult.” (Sepah News) Read the rest of this entry »

Iran News Round Up April 23, 2014

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English: Evin House of Detention فارسی: زندان اوین
English: Evin House of Detention فارسی: زندان اوین (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project’s Iran research team. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online. 

(E) = Article in English

Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors

Iran News Round Up July 26, 2012

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syria (Photo credit: themua)

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin
(E) = Article in English


  • Mohammad-Reza Tabesh: “We must support the government of Syria, which is at the frontline of the struggle against Israel… But we should support it as long as the government of Syria does not treat the people of Syria badly and the rights of the people are not violated.”
  • Ali-Reza Mahjoub: “Survival of the Syrian government is in the interest of our region.”
  • Jafar Qaderi: “The government of Syria… must continue the path of reform, enforce the popular will, and respect the popular vote.”
  • Fatemeh Alia: “We must support the trend of reform in Syria.”
  • Mousa-al-Reza Servati: “We oppose the West because of belief that any reform must take place based on the choice of the people and implemented by the people of Syria. People can achieve whatever their wishes through elections”
  • Amir-Hossein Qazizadeh: “What we see in Syria… is a domestic Syrian issue and intervention in internal affairs of states is incorrect and illegal…” 
  • [E] The Indian media reported that the country’s government has decided to attend the 16th heads-of-state summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran at the highest level, and that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will represent New Delhi in the high profile meeting.
  • [E] Iran and Russia lambasted the western and Arab states for their interferences in the internal affairs of Syria, and called on them to stop unconstructive acts in the Muslim country.

Military and Security

Iran News Round Up July 19, 2012

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Damascus Panorama, Looking Southwards

Damascus Panorama, Looking Southwards (Photo credit: spdl_n1)


  • According to Iran, Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf has stepped up campaigning for presidency. One of the signs is resignation of deputy mayor Mohammad-Hadi Ayazi, Qalibaf’s “right hand,” who is allegedly engaged in organizing the Qalibaf campaign. Pro-Qalibaf websites include: Mard-e Amal, Talayehdar, Hoshdar News, Shafaf News, Farda, Tehran, Farda, Sit-e Hamian-e Doktor, Asheqan-e Doktor Qalibaf, Omid-e Yazdahom and the like. Iran criticizes Qalibaf for being “very close to the reformists.”  


Military and Security

Former CIA spy advocates overthrow of Iranian regime

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Reza Kahlili, living in the shadows with a fake name and disguise, worked from inside the Revolutionary Guard. He warns of terrorist sleeper cells in the U.S. and a plot to destroy Israel.

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Former CIA spy Reza Kahlili lived a double life until the mid-1990s, passing along Iran’s secrets to the CIA and recruiting Revolutionary Guards for the agency. In a sense, he resumed his double identity after publishing his 2010 memoir. (Reza Kahlili / July 7, 2012)

By David Zucchino

July 6, 2012, 6:33 p.m.

Los Angeles Times
ARLINGTON, Va. — His disguise consists of a blue surgeon’s mask, sunglasses and a baseball cap that reads “Free Iran.” A small modulator distorts his voice. He uses a pseudonym, Reza Kahlili.
He lives in fear, he says, because his years as a paid spy for the CIA inside Iran have made him an assassination target of Iran’s government. He worries about his wife and children, who live with him in California.
At the same time, implausibly, he has become one of the most influential and outspoken voices in the U.S. advocating the overthrow of the Iranian government.
For the last two years, Kahlili has gone semipublic with a memoir, a blog, op-ed pieces and invitation-only speeches at think tanks. He warns that Iran operates terrorist sleeper cells inside the United States and is determined to build nuclear weapons to destroy Israel. The U.S. should respond, he argues, by supporting the opposition inside Iran.
He travels furtively between appearances, working as a Pentagon consultant and as a member of a domestic security task force.

Read the rest of this entry »

Q&A with former member of IRGC: Guards Could Negotiate with U.S. and Turn Against Khamenei in a Crisis

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Editor’s Note: Amid the escalation of tensions between Iran and the West and the upcoming parliamentary elections, InsideIran’s Reza Akbari conducted an interview with Dr. Seyed Ahmad Shams, a former IRGC political adviser. This is the second part of the interview. Click here to read the first part.

Q: Is there a possibility that the United States government could leave Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei out of the equation and instead negotiate directly with the Revolutionary Guards, just as it negotiated with the Egyptian army before former President Hosni Mubarak’s downfall?

A: The dominant segment in the Revolutionary Guards includes a spectrum of forces with diverging tendencies. I think what some commanders of Revolutionary Guards refer to as “velayat” (Guardianship of the Jurist) does not originate from a deep-seated belief but stems from personal and economic interests that ensure inclusion in the pyramid of power. It is possible that if serious problems arise, this impassioned support will collapse; any threat to these interests can even lead to confrontation with the Supreme Leader. The behavior of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in recent years and his struggle with Khamenei over conflicting interests mirrors perfectly the behavior of other members of Revolutionary Guards in the future if serious problems break out. As Mohammad Nourizad has asserted in one of his letters to Khamenei, “At a time when the country’s system experiences probable changes, individuals such as Hussein Shariatmadari and some chiefs of Revolutionary Guards will be the first to denounce you.”

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From an ex-CIA spy: US must exploit new split in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

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A serious split is developing within Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard. The West must leverage that split in support of regime change before the Islamic Republic successfully tests nuclear weapons.

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Members of Iran’s paramilitary Basij force, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard, attend a rally in front of the former US Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 25, 2011.
(AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

By Reza Kahlili
posted January 4, 2012 at 11:56 am EST

Los AngelesA serious split is developing within Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, with one faction favoring the overthrow of the dictatorial regime. This presents a window of opportunity for the West to support regime change before the Islamic Republic successfully tests nuclear weapons. Once the regime has those nuclear bombs, that opening will be much narrower.

Iran has tried hard to show strength in the face of sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran to quit its suspected nuclear-bomb and missile development programs. Iranian leaders are now flexing their military muscles in the strategic waterway, the Strait of Hormuz, threatening to shut it down and choking off a major part of the world’s oil supply.

The regime has long tried to scare the West from taking any action against it, by threatening the world’s security and stability. However, behind its mask of strength and unity, big cracks are beginning to show. Read the rest of this entry »

Iran Shows Footage Of Captured U.S. Drone

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Footage of the RQ-170 Sentinel high-altitude stealth drone was shown on Iranian state TV.

Iranian television has broadcast a video of a U.S. drone that Tehran claims to have brought down on its territory, and it’s probably safe to say that the images are the stuff of U.S. intelligence officials’ nightmares.

In the video, two men dressed in Iranian military uniforms poke and prod at the small, bat-winged aircraft. One gestures to a wing and appears to be explaining something to a decorated superior.

But what? Possibly what until now were highly guarded U.S. advances in covert intelligence gathering.

A banner at the foot of the aircraft in the video reads, “The U.S. cannot do a damn thing,” which is a direct quotation from Iran‘s late supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iran’s alleged capture of the drone represents more than just a huge propaganda prize for the regime, which has long been hostile to the United States. It also could be a bonanza of secret U.S. military technology so sensitive that U.S. officials briefly considered going into Iran to try and retrieve the downed aircraft, according to a report in “The Wall Street Journal.” The operation was rejected as too risky.

U.S officials have acknowledged the loss of the plane, but a Pentagon spokesman told reporters on December 8 that officials were “not going to talk about these kinds of missions and these kinds of capabilities.”

But U.S. and foreign officials briefed on the matter told the “The New York Times” that the RQ-170 Sentinel drone was at the center of a secret program to gather information on possible Iranian nuclear sites.

Top-Secret Treasure Trove

The same day that the Iranian drone video surfaced, U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated his commitment to working with the international community to “prevent” Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons if they are indeed pursuing them, as many Western governments have concluded but Tehran denies.

“If they [Iran] are pursuing nuclear weapons, then I have said very clearly: That is contrary to the national security interests of the United States, it is contrary to the national security interests of our allies, including Israel, and we are going to work with the world community to prevent that,” Obama said in remarks intended in part to address criticism from the field of aspiring Republican contenders in next year’s presidential election. Read the rest of this entry »