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Thursday 25 August 2016
A retired Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) general, who is currently one of the Iranian commanders leading Shi’ite troops in Syria, said in an interview last week that Iran has formed a Shi’ite army that seeks to destroy Israel by 2039, The Long War Journal reported on Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Falaki, who is serving with the Afghan Fatemiyoun Division, said that the Afghan militia’s establishment facilitated “the formation of a Shia liberation army” that is commanded by Qassam Soleimani, the head of the IRGC’s elite Qods Force. The main goal of this army is eliminating Israel, according to Falaki. “Forming the first nucleus of the liberation army has the objective that, God willing, we will not have anything called Israel in 23 years,” he said. He boasted that Iranian-led troops are already stationed by Israel’s border.
Falaki also praised the Afghan Fatemiyoun for their loyalty to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and hailed the IRGC for fostering “unity among ethnicities” and “unity among nations.” The IRGC and its various proxies “form a global jihadi network that answers to Tehran,” The Long War Journal observed.
Falaki’s comments are the latest in a long series of Iranian threats issued against Israel, which haven’t tapered off since the Islamic Republic reached a nuclear agreement with world powers in July of last year. Khamenei said in September 2015 that Israel will be destroyed in 25 years, while Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij militia, called Israel’s destruction “nonnegotiable” in March 2015. On the same month that the nuclear agreement was reached, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president of Iran and ally of current President Hassan Rouhani, called Israel an “alien existence” that he believes will “be wiped off the map.”
A week after the deal was announced, Khamenei praised crowds who were shouting “Death to America, ” and “Death to Israel.” In August 2015, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, that the nuclear deal presented a “historic opportunity” to confront Israel. That same month, Hussein Sheikholeslam, a senior adviser to Iran’s parliament speaker, rejected a plea from British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond for Iran to moderate its views about Israel, saying, “Israel should be annihilated.”