The head of the Tehran Islamic Revolution Courts Hojjat ol-Eslam Musa Qazanfar-Abadi. (Supplied)

By Amir Toumaj

March 9, 2019

On March 6, Hojjat ol-Eslam Musa Qazanfar-Abadi, the head of the Tehran Islamic Revolution Courts, said the Islamic Republic would deploy non-Iranian Shiite militias in Iran if the system faces danger of downfall.

“If we do not support the revolution, Iraqi Hashd al-Sha’bi [Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)], Afghan Fatemiyoun, Pakistani Zeynabiyoun and Yemeni Houthis will come and support the revolution,” Qazanfar-Abadi told a crowd at Masoumiyeh religious seminary in Qom. The seminary is a top institution for training clerics who graduate to the military and security services.

Militias constitute the backbone of the Islamic Republic’s power projection in Southwest Asia. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been particularly successful in raising tens of thousands of Shiite paramilitaries.

The Afghan Fatemiyoun Division and Pakistani Zeynabiyoun Brigade formed during the Syrian war, where the IRGC has deployed Lebanese Hezbollah, as well as other groups. Old and new IRGC-backed Iraqi militias joined the PMF following the Islamic State incursion into Iraq in 2014. The IRGC is sponsoring the Houthis, who are followers of the Zaydi sect of Shiism.

Qazanfar-Abadi is serious when he says the Islamic Republic would use its foreign legion in Iran, if necessary. For instance, if protesters overwhelm security forces.

The Long War Journal

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.