Exclusive: Iran's new ambassador to Iraq

Iran Focus

London, Jul. 26 - Iran's new ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Danaifar, a Baghdad native who was expelled from Iraq and rose through the ranks of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, reportedly is assuming the post more than six months after being appointed.

It was reported in January that the 48-year-old Danaifar would replace Ambassador Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, who said last week that he would return to Tehran on Friday and that Danaifar would take over the diplomatic reins in the Iraqi capital within a few days. Qomi has been the ambassador since April 2006.

Danaifar, who heads the Center for Reconstruction of Holy Sites and has been Secretary of the Department of Iran-Iraq Economic Development in the office of the Iranian president, was among those expelled by Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war because of ethnic ties to Iran.

He is a veteran commander of the Qods Force, the extraterritorial arm of the IRGC. During the 1980-88 war, he was an operations commander in the IRGC ground forces and was responsible for the planning and operations division of the Guard Corps' economic powerhouse, Khatam-ol-Anbia. In 1996, Danaifar was deputy of Ali Shamkhani, who then was commander of the IRCG's navy.

Since Saddam's government was overthrown in 2003, his main tasks have focused on Iraq, including as a deputy to Brigadier General Mansour Haqiqatpour, who became president of the Center for Reconstruction of Holy Sites at the Qods Force in Iraq.

Danaifar became head of the Qods Force's largest front organisation for exporting fundamentalism in Iraq, called the Mobayen Center, which monitors activities of cultural centers, mosques, book shops and video clubs across the country and uses them as operations centers for training Iraqis to aid the Qods Force.

Iran changed its methods after the arrests of some of its commanders by American forces in 2006 and 2007. It then began to send Qods officers into Iraq as merchants and businessmen working on "economic activities", according to the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad created the Department of Iran-Iraq Economic Development to further this goal, demonstrating the close ties between the highest levels of the regime and the Qods Force. As secretary of the organisation, Danaifar has made several trips to Iraq in recent years.


Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE