April 10, 2019
After US President Donald Trump’s Administration designated the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) as a terrorist organization, the leaders of the Iranian regime including Supreme Guide Khamenei, Iranian President Rouhani and other officials responded with threats against America and Americans in the region even going so far as to label the US military as “terrorists.”
As the Pasdaran is the nerve center of the regime, experts believe Tehran’s intelligence service could strike back at Washington by targeting US interests in the region, and particularly in Iraq, where Iran has great influence and a high control on Shia militias which are embedded within the Iraqi military forces.
Among the possible targeted sectors in Iraq would be US personnel deployed across the country, both civilians and military. Iran’s regime, if it decides to challenge the US in Iraq, could repeat the tactics of Hezbollah in Lebanon during the 1980s, complete with assassinations and hostage-taking.
However a sub category of potential victims of Iran terror in Iraq could also be Iraqi Christians who have the US nationality and those visiting from the US.
“Christians in Iraq, previously targeted by the uber-Sunnis of ISIS, now face threats from the Shi’a militias,” said AMCD Vice- Chair John Hajjar. “We urge the administration to provide them as much protection as possible.”
“Trump’s bold decision to pressure the Pasdaran with the foreign terror organization (FTO) status, will undoubtedly cause it to lash out at its perceived enemies,” added Hossein Khorram. “The IRGC has no qualms about attacking civilians.”
Mithal al Allusi, former head of the Civil Alliance bloc in the Iraqi Parliament said: “The Iran regime will retaliate in Iraq against the US decision to designate the Pasdaran as terror group. They will most likely perform the following:1. Launch an electronic army online to attack the US interests in Iraq2. Arm many cells with advanced weaponry to threaten the US personnel3. Work with previously unknown personalities and financial institutions4. Further control of the media5. Tighten control of the three offices of Presidency, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament6. Target US linked interests in Iraq and possibly staff7. Target members of weak and small minorities with links to the US.
“Iran has recruited and mobilized more than 100,000 Iraqis to work for them in Iraq,” Allusi continued. “The US could be facing this pro-Iran army.”
Asked about US activities in Iraq and travel to the country, Allusi said, “They will target the isolated and weak elements first – kidnapping, arrests etc.”
“The US must warn Iraq’s government that any targeting of US personnel or Iraqis who are linked to the US, will be considered as an act of war against America,” stated AMCD Co-Chair Tom Harb.