In a recent piece, I briefly described how Iranian regime weakness is evident in the escalating pressures on political prisoners. The Islamic fundamentalist ayatollahs of Iran, sinking in a quagmire of war with the Syrian people, appear to be losing their ironclad grip on events around & about them.
Questions are now abounding on condition of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force Commander, General Qassem Soleimani, who has reportedly been severely wounded in Syria. Additionally, names of at least 16 IRGC brigadier generals killed in Syria have been published. In the past 2 months alone, at least 100 IRGC officers and/or trained personnel have been killed in the Syrian arena.
Iran has deployed 5000 revolutionary guards, Hezbollah fighters, thousands of Afghan, Iraqi, and Pakistani mercenaries to Syria. The aim has been to prop up & maintain Assad regime but conquering Aleppo & Latakia has been a major tactical priority for Iran and ostensibly where Soleimani was wounded.
There are other subtle but sad connotations to Iran’s human armada in Syria. IRGC’s Fatemiyoun division in Syria, for example, is made up of Afghans residing in Iran. These are mostly prisoners accused of petty or serious crimes who have been released on the condition that they join the fighting in Syria. Hired by the IRGC with a monthly salary of around $500, a large number of them (including their commanders Alireza Tavassoli and Mostafa Sadrzadeh) have been killed.
Bartering human life and destroying civilized life has for 3 &1/2 decades been Iranian Ayatollahs preferred domestic and foreign policy methodology. No one, neither the Iranian people, nor the rest of the world will be in piece as long as these godfathers of Islamic fundamentalism are removed from power.
Let us observe then, that the recent events both in Iran prisons and across Syria underscore regime’s morbid flaws and core vulnerabilities like never before.
Sadeghpour is political director for Organization of Iranian American Communities