Gen. Qassem Soleimani (C), who heads the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard attends a graduation ceremony of a group of the guard’s officers in Tehran,June 30, 2018. (AP)

April 16, 2019

Instagram accounts believed to belong to three commanders from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have been shut down a day after a US terrorist designation for the force took effect.

The suspended accounts include those of Major-General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander-in-chief of the IRGC, and Brig. Gen. Mohammed Pakpour, commander of the IRGC Ground Forces, Al-Arabiya reported.

The US announced last week that it would designate the IRGC a terrorist organization. Trump said the move “recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.”

Soleimani’s Instagram account reportedly had 900,000 followers. He once used it to to taunt Trump after the US president posted an image warning that “Sanctions are coming” in the style of Game of Thrones.

Soleimani responded with a similarly styled  image of himself with the words “We will stand against you.”

Last year the account posted an image of Soleimani stood in front of an exploding White House.

On Tuesday, Iran’s lawmakers approved a bill labeling US forces in the Middle East as terrorist.

The US terrorist designation for the IRGC took effect  on Monday.

The IRGC are Iran’s elite military force and are politically powerful domestically, oversee the country’s ballistic missile program and control huge sections of the economy.

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries accuse the group and its foreign wing, the Quds Force, of destabilizing the Middle East with its interventions in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Arab News

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.