Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The “Nuclear Guards” in Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Clearly Tehran has decided to protect its nuclear reactor through its first line of defense, starting from the Syrian capital!

The stage Iran has chosen for its conformation with the West is not on its own soil, but rather the geographical area spanning from Syria to Lebanon. In this endeavor, Iran is making full use of an alliance that incorporates the regular Syrian army, the Shabiha forces and Hezbollah battalions, supported by armed units from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. In my opinion, these latter units should now change their name to the Iranian Nuclear Guards! It is no secret that military leaders from the Revolutionary Guards and Iranian fighters backed by Hezbollah elements have been present on Syrian territory for months. What is new is the fact that Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, has officially declared for the first time that a number of Quds Force elements, responsible for carrying out the Revolutionary Guards’ covert external operations, are now present [in Syria] as advisors. He added that in the event of Syria encountering a military attack, Iran will offer military support. This means that Iran has stepped over the line and has now become an overt player in the security and military operations within the Syrian crisis, which makes the current struggle more complex and Lakhdar Brahimi’s mission more difficult.

Jafari’s announcement of an 18 month old accomplished fact means that Iran – currently subjected to an international siege – is now taking on the form of a Persian merchant; with the aim of demonstrating that it has important cards to play in the Syrian crisis. The Persian merchant seems to be saying: Anyone who is willing to sell, buy or barter can contact us in Tehran.

This is the same tactic used by Iran’s pistachio, caviar and carpet merchants who always attempt to bargain for the best price following a prolonged period of stubbornness, with the aim of improving negotiation conditions and getting the best rate possible.

Unfortunately, people’s destinies have become a bargaining chip, as if the residents of Aleppo should pay the price for the madness of some in Tehran, and the residents of Idlib must suffer for the sake of the Iranian nuclear project. In the meantime, hundreds are being killed every day and over one and a half million Syrians are living in temporary camps inside and outside their country. I do not know why the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ experts have never made use of their free time in Damascus to wage a battle against the Zionist enemy in the Golan Heights, especially since one of their units is known as the Quds [Jerusalem] Force. I do not know why these forces have not carried out great “martyrdom operations” on the Lebanese-Israeli border, through the support offered by Hezbollah’s troops and soldiers who are allies of the Quds Force.

Iran will fight for its nuclear project even if it takes every last Syrian child or elderly Lebanese, and until every last Syrian or Lebanese pound has been spent.

Iran’s war, if it wants to continue with it, must take place on Iranian soil using Iranian soldiers and officers, and resulting in Iranian victims and costs only!