Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, the deputy chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, also said in an October 31 interview with Trend that the Popular Mobilization Forces are there in Iraq to stay, adding, "In the future we will hear much more of the Popular Mobilization Forces in the world."
The full interview is as follows:
Q: After the US announced its "Iran strategy”, the main content of which was pressurizing the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, US officials put on agenda a series of trips to the Middle East. Recently Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in his trip to Saudi Arabia urged what he called Iran-trained forces to leave Iraq and "go home”. Also, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin is in the region to discuss financially restricting Iranian forces. What do you think about such moves at a time when the "Islamic State" (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) is losing vitality?
A: The question is how ISIL was created. There is much evidence showing that America created ISIL in order to cause a public phobia of Islam, unleashing it at regional countries as mercenaries in a proxy war. Using ISIL, they tried to destroy and disintegrate Iraq. They are making a lot of efforts to expel Syria from the resistance front. Their plan was to use the spread of ISIL in their long-term interest, which was facing threats. The resistance front, as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran, set for confronting this evil policy of the US, preventing it from materializing and seriously challenging America’s big strategies for the region. So, it is natural for Americans to be angry with Iran, as they have been in the past. The recent moves follow the same line: to make a new scheme to fight the resistance front and the Islamic Republic of Iran. At a time when ISIL is going down the path to extinction, and America having failed in the plans it wanted to pursue via ISIL, the US is now seeking new plots. The public mind and independent governments in the region are needed to be vigilant in order to beat the US in its new scheme.
Q: How do you evaluate Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Alabadi dismissing Tillerson’s request for Popular Mobilization Forces to be removed?
A: We would better call Popular Mobilization Forces a great portion of Iraqi people who try by various means, such as taking part in military defense, to safeguard their country. It is obvious that Iraqi authorities would support Popular Mobilization Forces, which, along with the Iraqi Army, managed to rescue Iraq from a grand conspiracy that had been hatched for it. As you can see, the Iraqi Army and Popular Mobilization Forces achieved great victories against the enemies of Iraq. Again, it is obvious that Popular Mobilization Forces would be loathed by Americans for they have rid Iraq of the prongs of the US. Popular Mobilization Forces will for sure stay in Iraq, go on to live, and in the future we will hear more about Popular Mobilization Forces in the world. So I think, since Popular Mobilization Forces are derived from the bulk of Iraqi people, what the US does against them would be of no consequence in the minds of Iraq’s people, government, or Army. On the contrary, US antagonism will make people more sensitive and increase their attention to and care for Popular Mobilization Forces. Americans should realize that Popular Mobilization Forces will from now on comprise part of the reality in Iraq. As the Basij Organization is a highly influential body in Iran - especially in complicated situations - Popular Mobilization Forces will also play such a role from now on. Americans will be unable to do anything.
Q: What do you think about the reason US President Donald Trump went so far as to barely designate IRGC as a terrorist organization, but then decide not to?
A: It has been an old policy with the US to attack uprisings, independent countries, and people which might oppose its strategies and actions. Accordingly, the IRGC has always been a target of attacks by the US, some Western countries, which try by different means to weaken it if they can. Following their line of pressurizing the Islamic Republic of Iran, the US attempted putting the IRGC under greater pressure. They had planned to designate the Guards as terrorist so as to create a comprehensive barrage against the country. The IRGC and Armed Forces declared in case the US did so, they would recognize as terrorist any US military personnel, and treat them the same way they would treat terrorists and ISIL members. We saw that as Americans estimated their interests would be in great danger, they kind of changed course and rewound their previously-announced policy.
Q: Senior Iranian commanders, including Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, have promised the near-future extinction of ISIL. On what premises do you think such promise is made?
A: The military facts on ground in the West Asia conflict reveal consecutive defeats of terrorists and ISIL forces. Considering the plans made and currently underway by Iraqi fighters, the conclusive defeat of ISIL in Iraq will be materialized in the near future. The final defeat of ISIL in Iraq would pave the way for more such defeats that ISIL and other terrorists would suffer against regional countries. We hope that as a result, the region sees a day of peace. But of course we assume that new plots would be hatched by the US to drive regional countries into unrest.
Q: It seems that the European Union is backing the Iran deal, JCPOA, to gain Iran’s trust for a new round of talks, probably over Iran’s missile program. How strong do you think the possibility of such talks is? And how do you think Iran would respond to such policy by the EU?
A: As the Islamic Republic of Iran has said many times that it would not have any negotiations over defense issues with foreigners, I hereby reiterate that this is the definite policy of Iran, and that we would make no deals whatsoever with anybody regarding our defense capability or the means and ways of defending our country and our territorial integrity. The intentions of the US are crystal clear to us. They are trying to weaken our defense resources. Such weakening will also serve the Greater Middle East plot of the US, as well as the interests of Israel. Europe should decide if it can follow an independent policy from the US.
It is an unfortunate fact that over the past years, we have seen Europeans, despite all their claims to independence, unable to break the US spell on them. If Europe follows the same path as America’s regarding our missile and defense programs, we would obviously treat them like we do the US. I think this will turn out as a touchstone for Europe, and that history will judge if Europe can pursue its interests free of the US, i.e. not letting its interests be overshadowed by the illegitimate interests of the US.
We would obviously pursue our policy independently and based on our military goals and doctrines. We always have a clear policy in our defense issues which we try to keep unaffected by external factors. Our roadmap to help our country and the oppressed is quite clear and specified to us. We know for sure that we have some known and specified enemies who have always urged the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As a political body, it is quite a matter of fact that when a great power conspicuously calls your destruction, you should boost your power. Fortunately, this power today is such that we enjoy considerable deterrence against hypothetical moves by the US. Americans also know quite well that a military confrontation with the Islamic Republic of Iran would have dire and dreadful consequences for them. Much American interest is in our sight and reach in near and mid ranges, and if necessary, we would influence farther targets.
So, considering that there are defined enemies, some of whom seeking destruction - and you recently saw that the US threatened a United Nations member state with complete destruction - countries should possess such power to deter others from daring such conduct. We will follow on this path.
Source: Fars News Agency