Select language / زبان خود را انتخاب کنيد

Celebrating Iran’s revolution – and hiding its role in Syria

During an official ceremony for the 35th anniversary of the Iranian revolution, which took place in Teheran’s Azadi Square on 11 February 2014, President Hassan Rouhani claimed Iran did not interfere in the affairs of other countries.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted Rouhani saying “we” are united from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan; “we” should think of stability and sustainability in the Middle East, and “we” do not intend to intrude into other countries.

But the fact is, the Iranian government has not only been providing other countries in the region, especially Syria and Lebanon, with military ‘advice’ but also sending weapons and and fighters from Sepah Pasdaran to fight there.

Shortly before the ceremony, according to IRNA too, the vice president of the Martyrs and Veterans Affairs Foundation (Bonyad-e-Shahid-va-Omur-e-Isargaran) praised the outstanding role of the ‘martyr’ Hasan Shateri for his “resistance against Israel”. Mohsen Ansari asserted that Shateri was “the shining global star in the field of Islamic resistance against the Zionist regime of Israel”.

Shateri was one of the top commanders in Sepah Pasadaran (a ‘sardar’, marshal in Farsi). He had worked under the pseudonym of Hesam Khoshnevis as the chief of the Reconstruction Administration (Setad-Bazsazi) in South Lebanon. He was killed a year ago while traveling from Damascus to Beirut in an air strike. According to the rebel Free Syrian Army, Shateri was killed by an Israeli attack on arms shipments from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. It is widely known in Lebanon and Iran that the Reconstruction Administration is a cover for activities conducted by Sepah Pasdaran.

Another fact that Mr Rouhani seems to forget is that Iran’s Sepah Pasdaran has acknowledged the death of many of its members in Syria, including Mehdi Moussavi, Hadi Baqbani, Sardar Mohammad Jamali Paqal’e and Ismael Heydari Moqadam.

The Iranian government, along with that of Russia, have been directly supporting the Assad regime in Syria. Let us remember a few facts that testify to Iran’s interference in Syria, contrary to President Rouhani’s claims:

– Hezbollah Lebanon, which is controlled and financed by Sepah Pasdaran, has been publicly boasting since the summer of 2013 that its fighters are fighting in Syria in support of the Assad regime. In fact some Hezbollah fighters have said that they were the ones in charge on the ground rather than the Syrian army.

– According to Deutsche Welle, the subcommander of Sepah Qods, Ismail Gha’ani, confirmed on 25th May 2013 that Iranians were participating in military operations in Syria to support the Assad regime. In an interview with Iranian Student’s News Agency (ISNA), he said that Iran is playing its role in Syria through “physical and non-physiscal” presence.

– Back to Rouhani’s statement at the ceremony in Tehran, the final statement reads in parts: “The free and anti-oppression nation of Iran, through an all-encompassing defense by the Islamic resistance against Zionism, condemns US support and the Arab and Western supporters of the Zionist intrusive and occupying regime of Israel in the occupied lands, and condems the terrorist attacks against the Syrian state… [the free nation of Iran] insists on the necessity of any immediate and firm action by the international organisations and institutions to stand against the governments supporting terrorism and killing of civilians.”


What Bashar al-Assad and the governments supporting him are doing in Syria is real intrusion and state terrorism. Let us remember that, in the first six months of the Syrian revolution in 2011, protests all over the country were peaceful. Regime troops were shooting at non-violent civilians demanding freedom and dignity.

The people of Syria had no choice at some point in late summer 2011 but to take up ams to defend themselves against mass killing. The Iranian government and Sepah Pasdaran then made the historic mistake of increasing their political, economic and military support to the Assad regime, instead of pulling out and leaving the Syrians in peace. Sepah Pasdaran decided to send Hezbollah Lebanon and Iraqi Shia militias to join in the killing of the Syrian people.

Crimes against humanity often take place when, like in Syria, the Iranian government supports Assad in systematically killing the people and destroying cities and villages. The Iranian government is therefore actively supporting state terrorism.

And let’s remember, the United Nations described the consequences of the war in Syria as the biggest humanitarian crisis since the UN was established. Sepah Pasdaran must be held fully responsible for this tragedy, and must start pulling out from Syria, along with it Hezbollah and Iraqi Shia fighters.

The UN reports on Syria can be found at:


Leave a Reply