IRAN – Exposing the Latest Terrorist Game Plan of the IRGC-Quds Force: Formation of Proxy Naval Units
On Monday, February 28, 2022, the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US), released its new book, entitled ‘IRAN – Exposing the Latest Terrorist Game Plan of the IRGC-Quds Force: Formation of Proxy Naval Units.’
The book, for the first time, unveils details of how Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force (IRGC-QF) has been recruiting mercenaries for newly created, armed, and trained terrorist units to attack ships and maritime targets in the region. The IRGC-QF is the IRGC’s extraterritorial arm. The book’s executive summary is below.
World Press Notes NCRI’s New Report
The book has already received excellent coverage from the national and international press. Excerpts from four are below.
Iranian dissidents are warning that the brutal regime in Tehran is creating a proxy naval force in the region with which it intends to attack ships and help the embattled Houthi forces in Yemen.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran, the umbrella group for those opposed to the regime, issued a report that claims that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) Quds Force has been recruiting mercenaries for “newly created, armed and trained terrorist units to attack ships and maritime targets in the region.”— Fox News
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said the [new proxy naval] unit had been created as part of the Quds Force; the arm of the Revolutionary Guards responsible for extra-territorial operations . . .
“The strategy affords the politically weakened and vulnerable Iranian regime a veneer of plausible deniability for its proxy war in the region, as it seeks to augment the export of terrorism on which it depends,” the group added.— Agence France News
The Iranian opposition group [National Council of Resistance of Iran] that exposed Iran’s secret nuclear-enrichment facilities in 2002 has released new information on the leadership structure of the Quds Force naval command and the facilities it uses to train and arm Iran’s terror proxies in the Middle East . . .
In light of the new information on recruitment, training and weapon provisions for the Quds Force’s naval militia unit, experts say it is imperative that the talks in Vienna, Austria, over Iran’s nuclear program do not sidestep the issue of the Islamic Republic’s expanding web of proxy forces.— Arab News
Iran’s hardline regime is expanding its efforts to recruit, train and arm proxy naval units that rely on mercenaries from Yemen, Lebanon and other Mideast conﬂ ict countries to stage maritime attacks around the region, a leading Iranian dissident group said.
The proxy training operation is run by a newly formed naval unit within the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to the NCRI, whose sources in Tehran have a history of revealing nefarious activities of the Iranian regime.— The Washington Times
According to information received from the network inside Iran of the main Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the Quds Force, as the IRGC’s extraterritorial arm for terrorism, has been recruiting mercenaries for newly created, armed and trained terrorist units to attack ships and maritime targets in the region.
After the elimination of Qassem Soleimani in January 2020, which weakened the Quds Force’s ability to directly encroach in the countries of the region, the IRGC’s capacity to intrude in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria has been on the decline. To compensate for this failure, the IRGC has turned to intervention in Yemen, especially escalating naval terrorist activities and threatening the international shipping on its shores.
The command headquarters of the Quds Force in Yemen recruits Houthi forces and sends them to Iran for training, where the IRGC-QF conducts training in specialized naval courses for its Yemeni, Iraqi, Syrian, Lebanese, and African mercenaries, who are then dispatched to their home countries to form proxy naval units.
The primary location for naval commando training for these proxy naval units is called the Khamenei Academy of Naval Sciences and Technology in Ziba Kenar on the Caspian coastline in Gilan Province. There is a section in the IRGC’s Ziba Kenar University dedicated to the six-month training course of foreign mercenaries affiliated with the Quds Force. In January 2020, for example, one such course in naval science and technology was launched for about 200 Yemeni mercenaries.
Several Persian Gulf islands are being used for maritime training for IRGC-QF mercenaries, including Farur and Qeshm islands. The IRGC Navy has several centers in different parts of Qeshm Island, considered one of the main training complexes of the Quds Force. In addition to training the IRGC Navy and foreign terrorist forces, the IRGC has stockpiled weapons and missiles at the island’s underground facilities.
The Quds Force has set up a smuggling network to provide weapons and equipment to its proxies for naval attacks. One of the methods of transferring weapons to Yemen is to use third countries, such as Somalia. Another means is using small boats along the coasts of the Gulf of Oman. One of the most important ports used for this purpose is Bandar-e-Jask.
The Quds Force has equipped the Houthis with speedboats, missiles, mines, and other weapons. It employs tactics that utilize speedboats and asymmetric warfare – similar to those used by the IRGC’s Navy in the Persian Gulf – to expand conflicts into the Arabian Sea, Bab al-Mandab, and the Red Sea. Many terrorist operations in this region targeting foreign and Arab ships have been carried out by these proxy naval units. In this way, the Iranian regime covers its tracks, and pursues its agenda under the shadow of the Houthi war in the region.
Since early 2021, and more so since August 2021, when Ebrahim Raisi took office as the new president of the Iranian regime, Tehran has stepped up its maritime terrorist operations using its foreign mercenaries, especially the Houthis of Yemen. In fact, the destructive intervention of the Quds Force in the region has intensified, as have Tehran’s UAV and missile attacks. This escalation of maritime violence by the Iranian regime is in line with its stepped-up drone attacks in the Persian Gulf countries, as well as its nuclear defiance.
The continued offers of concessions by Western countries and lack of accountability for the Iranian regime’s terrorist operations as well as its killings at home, have emboldened Tehran to step up its rogue behavior creating mayhem in the region. Regardless of what the Iranian regime might do with its nuclear weapons program and its negotiations with the P 5+1, Tehran must be held accountable for its proxy war in the region, its terrorism, its development of ballistic missiles, and its egregious violations of human rights and suppression of Iranian citizens engaged in ongoing protests.
Tehran’s latest game plan to advance its terrorist agenda by prioritizing mercenaries and stepping up its regional mayhem is intended to project power and cover its fundamental weakness inside Iran. Since December 2017, there have been eight major uprisings, as well as successive protests by various sectors of Iranian society urgently desiring fundamental change. The regime hopes that this image will provide additional leverage internationally and domestically, and explains why it is investing lavish amounts of money and resources for training, funding, and arming its proxies, while a vast majority of the Iranian people live below the poverty line.
Any conciliatory approach, especially since Raisi has taken office, would lead to Tehran’s increased defiance. Therefore, none of the sanctions against the regime should be lifted until it has stopped all its rogue behavior at home and abroad. On the contrary, additional sanctions are warranted as a result of the Iranian regime’s escalation of violence in the region and stepped-up repression at home.
IRAN: Exposing the Latest Terrorist Game Plan of the IRGC-Quds Force Formation of Proxy Naval Units
First published in 2022 by National Council of Resistance of Iran — U.S. Representative Office (NCRI-US), 1747 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 1125, Washington, DC 20006
ISBN-10 (paperback): 1-944942-50-5
ISBN-13 (paperback): 978-1-944942-50-2
ISBN-10 (e-book): 1-944942-51-3
ISBN-13 (e-book): 978-1-944942-51-9
ISBN-10 (audiobook): 1-944942-52-1
ISBN-13 (audiobook): 978-1-944942-52-6
Library of Congress Control Number: 2022931928