Iran TerrorismIran: Ahmadinejad’s past in Revolutionary Guards invites scrutiny

Iran: Ahmadinejad’s past in Revolutionary Guards invites scrutiny

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Iran Focus: London, Jul. 5 – Iran Focus has obtained the photograph of Iran’s President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Ayatollah Khomeini’s Chief Representative in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in the 1980s. The photograph was taken from footage on Iran’s state-run news television channel, Shabakeh Khabar. Ayatollah Fazlollah Mahallati was the Islamic Chief Commissar of the Revolutionary Guards. Iran Focus

London, Jul. 5 – Iran Focus has obtained the photograph of Iran’s President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Ayatollah Khomeini’s Chief Representative in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in the 1980s. The photograph was taken from footage on Iran’s state-run news television channel, Shabakeh Khabar.

Ayatollah Fazlollah Mahallati was the Islamic Chief Commissar of the Revolutionary Guards. In that position, he oversaw the activities of the Revolutionary Guards and played a critical role in shaping the force that became the most dreaded security agency in clergy-ruled Iran, a powerful military force, and the long arm of Iran’s Islamic revolution that operated far beyond Iran’s borders.

As Khomeini’s top representative in the Revolutionary Guards, Mahallati was given the task of streamlining the work of a plethora of government agencies involved in sponsorship of terrorism in different countries. One of the biggest operations planned under the supervision of Mahallati and other top commanders of the Revolutionary Guards was the bombing of the U.S. marines’ compound in Beirut in October 1983, which killed 241 American servicemen. The operation was directed by the Revolutionary Guards Command Headquarters in Tehran.

Then-Minister of Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rafiqdoost said in July 1987, “both the TNT and the ideology which in one blast sent to hell 400 officers, NCOs, and soldiers at the Marine headquarters were provided by Iran”. Rafiqdoost’s comments were published in the Tehran daily Ressalat on July 20, 1987.

The photograph obtained by Iran Focus shows Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the new Iranian President, standing behind Ayatollah Mahallati, when Ahmadinejad was an officer of the Revolutionary Guards involved in terrorist activities.

Prof. Magnus Ranstorp of the University of Saint Andrews, a world authority on terrorism, wrote in a 1994 study on the Lebanese Hizbollah, “The movement was secretly governed by a supreme religious body, which had been instituted by Iran’s Fazlollah Mahallati in 1983, fashioned after the upper echelons of Iran’s clerical leadership”.

In the early 1980s, Ahmadinejad worked in the “Internal Security” department of the Revolutionary Guards and earned notoriety as a ruthless interrogator and torturer. According to the state-run website Baztab, allies of outgoing President Mohammad Khatami have revealed that Ahmadinejad worked for some time as an executioner in the notorious Evin Prison, where thousands of political prisoners were executed in the bloody purges of the 1980s.

Ayatollah Mahallati, Ahmadinejad’s mentor in the Revolutionary Guards, died in a plane crash in 1987. But before his death, he promoted Ahmadinejad to the rank of a senior officer in the Special Brigade of the Revolutionary Guards in Ramazan Garrison near Kermanshah in western Iran.

Ramazan Garrison was the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guards’ “extra-territorial operations”, a euphemism for terrorist attacks beyond Iran’s borders.

In Kermanshah, Ahmadinejad became involved in the clerical regime’s terrorist operations abroad and led many “extra-territorial operations of the IRGC”.

Ahmadinejad was involved in a series of assassinations in the Middle East and Europe, including the assassination of Iranian Kurdish leader Abdorrahman Qassemlou, who was shot dead by senior officers of the Revolutionary Guards in a Vienna flat in July 1989. He was also involved in the assassination of Shapur Bakhtiar in Paris in August 1991.

Ahmadinejad’s ties to two figures who have been publicly associated in these two attacks are known to many. Ahmadinejad worked closely with General Jaafar Sahraroudi when both were based in Ramazan Garrison. Sahraroudi was arrested by Austrian police in the same room where Kurdish leader Abdurrahman Ghassemlou and his two associates were gunned down in July 1989. Under pressure from Tehran, the Austrian authorities sent Sahraroudi and another arrested terrorist suspect to Tehran.

Ahmadinejad was also a close associate of Hossein Sheikh-Attar, who was indicted by the French prosecutors investigating the murder of Bakhtiar.

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