Senior Iranian official: foreign Shiite militias to fight in Iran if Islamic Republic in danger

On March 6, Hojjat ol-Eslam Musa Qazanfar-Abadi, the head of the Tehran Islamic Revolution Courts, said the Islamic Republic would deploy non-Iranian Shiite militias in Iran if the system faces danger of downfall.  

“If we do not support the revolution, Iraqi Hashd al-Sha’bi [Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)], Afghan Fatemiyoun, Pakistani Zeynabiyoun and Yemeni Houthis will come and support the revolution,” Qazanfar-Abadi told a crowd at Masoumiyeh religious seminary in Qom. The seminary is a top institution for training clerics who graduate to the military and security services.

Militias constitute the backbone of the Islamic Republic’s power projection in Southwest Asia. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been particularly successful in raising tens of thousands of Shiite paramilitaries. The Afghan Fatemiyoun Division and Pakistani Zeynabiyoun Brigade formed during the Syrian war, where the IRGC has deployed Lebanese Hezbollah, as well as other groups. Old and new IRGC-backed Iraqi militias joined the PMF following the Islamic State incursion into Iraq in 2014. The IRGC is sponsoring the Houthis, who are followers of the Zaydi sect of Shiism.

Qazanfar-Abadi is serious when he says the Islamic Republic would use its foreign legion in Iran, if necessary. For instance, if protesters overwhelm security forces.  

Amir Toumaj is a independent analyst and contributor to FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Javad says:

    Iran will be divided into a few countries as it was done in Yugoslavia. Iran wants to rewrite the history of Ashoura but Sunis have to wake up quickly before Iran gets the bomb. Iranian mullah will do anything at any cost to spread Shiaism. Sunis wake up before is too late.

  • TRM says:

    Interesting that they evidently don’t consider the IRGC and the Basij to be enough to keep the Iranian population in line.

  • Dennis says:

    No problem bringing in foreigners to kill your own? That’s winning hearts and minds!

  • rob sheldon says:

    Somehow I’m reminded of China bringing in its non-Mandarin speaking soldiers to put down the Tiananmen square uprising. The rank-and-file army wouldn’t shoot their own children. But the foreign legions would. At some point, when hired guns are now running the Republic, you have to admit that the Revolution is over.

  • SMW says:

    I always figured this would be the case.

    That in the event of a revolution or a civil war-Iran’s shia proxies would be called to Iran to defend the government.


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