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How An Iranian “Shrine Reconstruction Group” Launched A Secret Invasion of Iraq

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Iran's IRGC extends its interference in Iraq under the pretext of "Shrine Reconstruction Group"

By Jubin Katiraie

The Iranian and Iraqi people are being looted by the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force (IRGC–QF), who are hiding behind the Holy Shrines’ Reconstruction Headquarters. 

The IRGC, the Quds, and the Holy Shrines’ Reconstruction Headquarters were all sanctioned by the United States State Department in March, something that was long overdue and much needed.  

The US State Department’s statement reads: “Among other malign activities, these entities and individuals perpetrated or supported: smuggling through the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr; money laundering through Iraqi front companies; selling Iranian oil to the Syrian regime; smuggling weapons to Iraq and Yemen; promoting propaganda efforts in Iraq on behalf of the IRGC-QF and its terrorist militias; intimidating Iraqi politicians; and using funds and public donations made to an ostensibly religious institution to supplement IRGC-QF budgets.”  

It is even more important in the light of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed early 15,000 people in Iran so far because the government stripped the nation of its wealth and will not sacrifice a tiny amount to save the people. It would rather spend billions of dollars on terrorism, warmongering, and enriching the mullahs. 

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said: “Iran employs a web of front companies to fund terrorist groups across the region, siphoning resources away from the Iranian people and prioritizing terrorist proxies over the basic needs of its people.”  

So what is the role of this headquarters? And who is its main manager, IRGC Brigadier General Hassan Pelarak? Using information from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), we will attempt to explain this here. 

Pelarak, 58-59, has been an IRGC member since the start, taking part in the massacre of Iranian Kurds in the 1980s and serving as the commander of logistics and support of the southeastern front during the Iran-Iraq war. He has also plundered the Iranian people through his private companiesserved as an economic consultant to vice president EshaqJahangiri during 2016, and worked closely with now-dead Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. 

After he became the special adviser of the Quds Force’s commanding office, he was tasked with supervising the activities of the Headquarters, improving the Arbaeen ceremonies, and circumventing sanctions.  

The Headquarters was formed in 2003 at the beginning of the US war with Iraq. Then mullahs, who wanted Saddam Hussein gone, jumped at the chance to enter Iraq under false pretenses (i.e. protecting religious shrines) and take proxy control, with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei having personal involvement. This was a secret occupation of Iraq by the Quds Force, allowing them to carry out terrorist activities, arms trafficking, plundering, and sanctions circumvention  

The organization now has its claws into Syria, which is in the midst of a long civil war. 

The NCRI said: “The Holy Shrines’ Reconstruction Headquarters is just an example of the IRGC’s holdings. The regime has refused to provide the Iranian people with the necessary equipment to combat the coronavirus, yet it dedicates billions of dollars of the national wealth to its warmongering campaign, to prolong its life.”

 

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