In the global ranking of sponsoring terrorism, Iran comes first for being the largest supporter of terrorism in the world. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its external arm, the Quds Force, have been directly responsible for terrorism in the region and the world at large. Its terrorist activities have diversified since its inception in 1979 with the advent of the mullahs’ regime after the fall of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
If the activities and actions that have been assigned to the Revolutionary Guard are monitored and following its increased influence and control over all the political, economic and military affairs of the country and the expansion of its intervention in the region, we can mention several types of the terrorist acts that the Revolutionary Guard has committed including genocides, bombings, assassinations and supporting extremist groups; in addition to the drug trade, human trafficking and targeting religious belief and community culture.
In a quick glance at the terrorist activities that have taken place in the region and spread to the entire world, it is evident that their causes are directly related to the activities and interventions of the Revolutionary Guard in several countries in the region. For instance, the chaos in Yemen, Syria and Iraq is caused by the interventions of Iran, and not to mention that the groups that strive fighting and sedition are created by Iran as well! The Revolutionary Guard continues to provide all kind of support to these groups, whose crimes have reached many Arab and Western countries, therefore, Iranian interventions in the region are the direct cause of spreading terrorism and extremism.
Moreover, the Revolutionary Guard exploits the chaos to assassinate Arabs’ and Iranians’ officials and figures who reject the Iranian project. It also seeks to spread chaos through the implementation of terrorist attacks to terrorize peoples of the region, a method of terrorism practiced by the Revolutionary Guard in all countries of the world.
During the international silence over the activities of the Revolutionary Guard under Presidency of Barack Obama, a qualitative evolution happened to the forms and methods of terrorism practiced by the Revolutionary Guard where it started to provide sophisticated weapons to terrorist groups, including the Cruz missiles to the Houthi group in Yemen to be used against Saudi Arabia and the UAE which exposed Iran from the very first missile fired by the Houthi militia towards Saudi Arabia.
A new type of terrorism and a double-edged sword the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is practicing, which is drug trafficking (heroin, opium and methamphetamine), where it has made Iran a major link and center for the drug trade and a key supplier to Southwest Asia, the drug-trafficking hub of the so-called Golden Crescent (shipping area, which includes the mountain valleys of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan). The Revolutionary Guard took advantage of Afghanistan’s precarious situation and increased opium cultivation and its trade to help Taliban groups fighting in the western and southern provinces of Afghanistan, the region where drug production and trafficking are in Afghanistan. The Revolutionary Guard leadership has assigned the responsibility of overseeing the cultivation and trafficking of drugs in Afghanistan to its senior officers and by that, it has been trying to raise money to finance its other terrorist activities, as well as using drugs as a deadly weapon for the peoples of the region and that has been proven by many reports which claimed that the Revolutionary Guard have tried many times to introduce drugs to the peoples, whose countries have been hard for the Revolutionary Guard to infiltrate.
The Revolutionary Guard has been always trying to interfere in the political life of neighboring countries by supporting political organizations and parties opposed to the regimes from those who follow the Persian illusion and the dreams of exporting the revolution. The Revolutionary Guard often tries to apply these terrorist activities through its institutions, which operate under the guise of charitable work and humanitarian aid, or through fictitious companies.
The Persian language centers and cultural centers established by Iran in the region are among the most important tools of Iranian terrorism that target the culture and beliefs of societies. The Revolutionary Guard has a broad experience in this field, where it has worked hard to obliterate the cultural identities of the non-Persian peoples immediately after the control of the mullahs’ regime over power in Iran. And wants to transfer this experience to the peoples of the region and by disrupting their culture and injecting it with the poison of the Persian culture, which aims to deceive the minds and take them back to the stone ages with false slogans and populist and religious slogans!
The above indicates that the right way to tackle Iran’s terrorism in the region is by realizing firstly that the Revolutionary Guard is the one who is in charge in Iran and is fully in control of politics and economy as well as its military role, meaning that the Iranian regime is the Revolutionary Guard, and the Revolutionary Guard is the Iranian behavior.
Therefore, combating the Iranian terrorism will not be achieved through the negotiation with Hassan Rouhani or his team, but, to do that, the Revolutionary Guard must be first targeted economically to stop the lifeline of its terrorist activities. Thus, the Arab countries must boycott it economically and prohibit all its economic activity or investments on its territory. Any counter-policy aimed at putting pressure on the Iranian regime must target the Revolutionary Guard, its institutions and symbols, and by activating the cooperation in exchanging intelligence information on the activities of the Revolutionary Guard and taking the necessary measures to stop its funding for the terrorist operations.
Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre
21 December 2017