Iranian national held for arms smuggling in 'stan

P

pp0470

Guest
#2
Any nation that smuggles weapons to Afghan insurgents whilst a world power is fighting and sacrificing its soldiers to bring stability and development to the country deserve what's coming to them.
 
#3
UK and USA, stingers, mujhadeen, Soviet Union, Afghanistan anyone? We all know it goes on, the Iranian/Afghan border is hardly secure. Doen't make it right but hardly areason to rev up the outrage jinglie!
 
#4
What would that be then?

Last I saw the Iranians had made some preperation for distibuting arms, training for resistance by insurgency and so on. Last thing anyone in the west would want is to go after them on the ground.

Blowing stuff from high, fast and stealthy platforms might be about the most hostile action we might take I would guess...if it came to that.
 
#5
Uzbeck said:
BBC News - 'Iranian arms smuggler' captured by Nato in Afghanistan

On the Beeb.

Intresting. By the sounds of it they've been monitoring this chap for some time. if they have his records and so on it might well be usefull. Iran will just say its all falsified of course.
What is it about this story that grips you? Is the idea that arms smuggling into Afghanistan occurs; Iranian nationals are involved in this lucrative business; or that NATO actually managed to capture someone?

Personally, I think the third option is the only 'interesting' element to those of an unbiased disposition not trying to bang some obnoxious drum peddling anti-Iranian garbage.
 
#6
What is it about this story that grips you?
It is indeed the latter. As you say its not exactly surprising that arms smuggling occurs and its no surprise that its an Iranian. What intrests me is that the person has been named as a member of the RevGuards and the text of the article implies he had been under surveliance for some time. To flip the coin:- Finding a British cit involed in dodgy arms deals in a third party nation is one thing. Finding a Serving officer of HM Forces doing so would be quite another. I'll be intrested to see what the Iranians have to say about it. I suspect the nabbed Iranian might have been 'retired', 'on leave' or 'visiting familly' etc etc. But its just that...intresting....rather than OMFG we have them to rights this time.
 
#7
It is indeed the latter. As you say its not exactly surprising that arms smuggling occurs and its no surprise that its an Iranian. What intrests me is that the person has been named as a member of the RevGuards and the text of the article implies he had been under surveliance for some time. To flip the coin:- Finding a British cit involed in dodgy arms deals in a third party nation is one thing. Finding a Serving officer of HM Forces doing so would be quite another. I'll be intrested to see what the Iranians have to say about it. I suspect the nabbed Iranian might have been 'retired', 'on leave' or 'visiting familly' etc etc. But its just that...intresting....rather than OMFG we have them to rights this time.
Uzbek,

Do you know much about Iran? Just interested, are the Revolutionary Guards an established part of their regular forces, or some sort of religiously motivated auxillary? Your point is a good one, if a Brit Soldier where caught doing this sort of thing it would certainly be a bit different to the odd civi extremist getting out to Pakistan for a bit of Jihad tourism!
 
#8
Do you know much about Iran? Just interested, are the Revolutionary Guards an established part of their regular forces, or some sort of religiously motivated auxillary?
I know a bit. I'm no expert of course. I stand to be corrected by those that really know the ground and people.

The IRG are more like a combination of the SS and SD in Nazi Germany than anything else I can bring to mind this early in the morning. maybe the Interior Ministry combined with KGB from USSR days? In that they originally existed as an internal mover in the revolution and then moved on to securing the state internaly and exporting the ideaolgy externaly. The Basij are pretty much as you describe but I _think_ are not on paper part of the IRG but answer to them...and are basicaly a millita. The proper IRG live and train on military bases and now the old guard are retired or dead in the Iran-Iraq war then recruitment is pretty much at birth. Recruits come from cobat veterans and the offspring imans and are educated in special schools, live on base etc. The guy who's been nabbed is alleged to be member of the 'Quds Force' which is full on IRG special purpose 'export the revolution' unit. However claiming that any Iranian with any ties to IRG is a member of Quds when found abroad would be pretty much par for the course. Like claiming any Isreali is Mossad...

So. Intresting. I will be intrested to see what, if any, proof that this guy is really IRG can be produced and what the reaction from Iran will be to that.
 
#9
Uzbeck said:
It is indeed the latter. As you say its not exactly surprising that arms smuggling occurs and its no surprise that its an Iranian. What intrests me is that the person has been named as a member of the RevGuards and the text of the article implies he had been under surveliance for some time. To flip the coin:- Finding a British cit involed in dodgy arms deals in a third party nation is one thing. Finding a Serving officer of HM Forces doing so would be quite another. I'll be intrested to see what the Iranians have to say about it. I suspect the nabbed Iranian might have been 'retired', 'on leave' or 'visiting familly' etc etc. But its just that...intresting....rather than OMFG we have them to rights this time.
In Iraq, US/UK spinmeisters spent a disproportionate amount of their effort trying to blame sumebody else for the failures of their own masters; Iran was a favourite target. All manner of speculation and hypothetical instance was pointed towards Tehran to 'excuse' or 'explain' why things were not going as swimmingly as expected. Little stuck - even the IED mud slinging.

So, tell me what's different with this piece.

The UK has close to 10,000 military personnel in Afghanistan, the US has almost 100,000. They are there, allegedly, to enhance homeland security by fighting the evil Islamofascists on away ground rather than home ground.

Why should we be surprised to learn that Iran may have sent a few military personnel across the border into Afghanistan to enhance their own security too? Surely it is better for them to see inter-tribal violence and bloodletting on the far side of their border than on home territory.

If 'we' have the 'right' to meddle in the internal bloodletting (civil war) in Afghanistan, why doesn't Iran? Surely it is of FAR greater interest to them than us.
 
#10
Given the fact that the US and UK fought shy of admitting ANY Iranian involvement Iraq it is interesting that this was in the press. Even more so given that a fairly recent News reports on arms smuggling over the western border saw a few points where the ANA/ANP officers were stopped from blaming the Iranians by minders
 
#11
If 'we' have the 'right' to meddle in the internal bloodletting (civil war) in Afghanistan, why doesn't Iran? Surely it is of FAR greater interest to them than us.
Of course I'd expect Iran to be keeping an eye on things next door. The question is 'how far does official involvement go?'. Iran has been accused of training IED makers etc in the past. It didnt really stick. Even when a Iranian RG General was lifted by US troops. This time the allegations are in actual supply of munitions. I expect the RG mantain their own sources and possibly even factories...are they directly supplying from these or is it more handslength?
If I were running the show in Iran I'd certainly be wanting to see the Us and allies withdrawing with a somewhat bloody nose from both Iraq and Afghanistan....and so far it rather looks like thats whats happening. Iran seems to playing a rather carefull and clever long haul game. Their cull of the nuttier 'Human wave attack' elements of the IRQ and replacement with more moderate, millitary experienced, commanders has made the IRG a much more usefull force...and lets face it the regular "Sepāh" millitary would likely not last any better than Saddams Army did in the teeth of US/NATO heavy metal. A fanatical force, lead by professionals who train for insurgency and who have a large millita and armouries to equip them on call....well that really is a deterrent from rolling into Iran.

So yeah, I'm intrested to see what evidence there is for this guy actualy being IRG and what the responce will be. As to Iran...I think they're playing a limited hand with some brilliance. Bstds.
 
#12
Uzbeck said:
Of course I'd expect Iran to be keeping an eye on things next door. The question is 'how far does official involvement go?'. Iran has been accused of training IED makers etc in the past. It didnt really stick. Even when a Iranian RG General was lifted by US troops. This time the allegations are in actual supply of munitions. I expect the RG mantain their own sources and possibly even factories...are they directly supplying from these or is it more handslength?
If I were running the show in Iran I'd certainly be wanting to see the Us and allies withdrawing with a somewhat bloody nose from both Iraq and Afghanistan....and so far it rather looks like thats whats happening. Iran seems to playing a rather carefull and clever long haul game. Their cull of the nuttier 'Human wave attack' elements of the IRQ and replacement with more moderate, millitary experienced, commanders has made the IRG a much more usefull force...and lets face it the regular "Sepāh" millitary would likely not last any better than Saddams Army did in the teeth of US/NATO heavy metal. A fanatical force, lead by professionals who train for insurgency and who have a large millita and armouries to equip them on call....well that really is a deterrent from rolling into Iran.

So yeah, I'm intrested to see what evidence there is for this guy actualy being IRG and what the responce will be. As to Iran...I think they're playing a limited hand with some brilliance. Bstds.
The reliability of the accusations has to be questionned. Nevertheless, even assuming them to be accurate, I still fail to see what 'news' there is in this.

If I were a major power-broker in Iran, I'd be significantly more involved in Afghanistan than they are now, and inevitably that would lead to even greater opportunity for NATO et al to wag fingers.

Frankly, 'we' should be HUGELY grateful that the Iranians are not more engaged in Afghanistan than they actually are.
 
#13
I take your point WC. However given this forum:- THE IRG could well be behind both the training and much of the actual material used to create IED's in both theatres. And so death and injury to 'our' forces including posters here. Given 'realpolitic' does this surprise me? Not at all. But I do think its news and I'll be intrested to see how it turns out.

I know various American pundits were predicting the IRG and Sepāh pooring across the border into Iraq a few years ago. It might even have worked as well if they'd have tied up the Gulf a little. However I think the current Iranian headshed are far to bright to risk a stand up fight they might loose and they have learnt the lessons of GW1 and 2 very well indeed. Something the Uk millitary has yet to do. Iran watching in Iraq, later in 2015 'stan and the wider regional picture will be one to make cold war spooks hearts glad...
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
I know a bit. I'm no expert of course. I stand to be corrected by those that really know the ground and people.

The IRG are more like a combination of the SS and SD in Nazi Germany than anything else I can bring to mind this early in the morning. maybe the Interior Ministry combined with KGB from USSR days? In that they originally existed as an internal mover in the revolution and then moved on to securing the state internaly and exporting the ideaolgy externaly. The Basij are pretty much as you describe but I _think_ are not on paper part of the IRG but answer to them...and are basicaly a millita. The proper IRG live and train on military bases and now the old guard are retired or dead in the Iran-Iraq war then recruitment is pretty much at birth. Recruits come from cobat veterans and the offspring imans and are educated in special schools, live on base etc. The guy who's been nabbed is alleged to be member of the 'Quds Force' which is full on IRG special purpose 'export the revolution' unit. However claiming that any Iranian with any ties to IRG is a member of Quds when found abroad would be pretty much par for the course. Like claiming any Isreali is Mossad...

So. Intresting. I will be intrested to see what, if any, proof that this guy is really IRG can be produced and what the reaction from Iran will be to that.
The semi-autonomous 'state within a state' that is the IRG makes for a fascinating subject and I'd be interested to know if you could recommend any further reading material on them? I wonder, with their commercial interests and cradle to grave membership, how much they are trying to emulate a kind of Janissaries Corps. More to the point do they plough their own furrow when it comes to foreign policy? An interesting (though not entirely convincing) article here about their economic position here: Subsidy reforms threaten legitimacy of Ahmadinejad | Meir Javedanfar | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
 
#15
Uzbeck said:
I take your point WC. However given this forum:- THE IRG could well be behind both the training and much of the actual material used to create IED's in both theatres.
Prior to March 2003, Iraqis were educated and intelligent enough to be capable of building WMD that could strike the UK within 45 mins. Post April 2003, they were not educated or intelligent enough to be capable of pipe bombs and shaped charges. Allegedly. So it must have been the Iranians. Allegedly.

Spin, spin, PROPAGANDA SPIN for the ignorant....

Uzbeck said:
And so death and injury to 'our' forces including posters here.
Please do not try to derail a sensible discussion concerning international relations/interactions and strategic interest by trying to discredit opposing arguments with this nonsense. UK troops are being hurt and killed in Afghanistan because UK politicians chose to send them there. If you, or anybody else, thinks that 'we' have the 'right' to foreign intervention AND a free ride, then I suggest a cold shower is in order.

Uzbeck said:
Given 'realpolitic' does this surprise me? Not at all. But I do think its news and I'll be intrested to see how it turns out.
It is only 'news' if it turns out to be a) accurate; and b) making a difference to the whole. The only 'news' I see so far is that NATO thinks it has actually achieved something significant!

Uzbeck said:
I know various American pundits were predicting the IRG and Sepāh pooring across the border into Iraq a few years ago. It might even have worked as well if they'd have tied up the Gulf a little. However I think the current Iranian headshed are far to bright to risk a stand up fight they might loose and they have learnt the lessons of GW1 and 2 very well indeed. Something the Uk millitary has yet to do. Iran watching in Iraq, later in 2015 'stan and the wider regional picture will be one to make cold war spooks hearts glad...
Eh???
 
#16
What a surprise...

CORRECTION: ISAF Clarifies Status of Cross-border Weapons Facilitator | ISAF - International Security Assistance Force

The International Security Assistance Force has determined a cross-border weapons facilitator detained Dec. 18 is not a member of the Iranian Qods force, as was originally reported.
http://www.isaf.nato.int/images/sto...tatus of cross-border weapons facilitator.pdf

Now, how many people reading the original press release and reporting will NEVER recognise that this has been retracted and will, ad infinitum, continue to believe the mistruth? I've see this happen so often I no longer believe it to be an 'honest' mistake.
 
P

pp0470

Guest
#17
What a surprise...

CORRECTION: ISAF Clarifies Status of Cross-border Weapons Facilitator | ISAF - International Security Assistance Force



http://www.isaf.nato.int/images/sto...tatus of cross-border weapons facilitator.pdf

Now, how many people reading the original press release and reporting will NEVER recognise that this has been retracted and will, ad infinitum, continue to believe the mistruth? I've see this happen so often I no longer believe it to be an 'honest' mistake.
Ah-men Brother. Like Linda Norgrove been killed by Afghan suicide belt, etc, etc.

Government treats us like mushrooms - keeping us in the dark and feeding us shit. Is Wikileaks the light at the end of the tunnel of this mis-information bullshit?
 
#18
I actualy agree with you here WC. Retractions are normally not worth the paper they're written on/electrons to light the screen up.

In light of this:- This is a non event. it would only have been news if they actualy had nabbed a member of the IRQ smuggling. Given that the IRG runs border services and is alleged to turn a heft profit from its take of smuggling then it would be no surprise that anyone taken for smuggling would have links to the IRG.

Now to WC's other points. I quite agree about spin and propoganda re-Iraqi's own abilities. GW1 taught quite a few people lots of lessons and mostly they were learnt outside of the West. It would be _very_ major news if full on support of insurgency could be proven to coming from Iran. You are obviously of the opinion, for arguments sake at least, that there is little or no support? My position is that Iran probably _is_ helping out a bit...possibly by just turning a blind eye to weapons smuggling...more likely by having IRG train Hezbollah and Hamas people who later may well either end up in theatre or training those that do. Having IRG show up in numbers isnt worth the risk or the reward. Spending a few sheckles to keep the US and allies spinning and hurting is good for national security.

My last point:- Some American pundits were predicting a full on traditional 'Guards Shock Army but with sand' attack from Iran on 'US occupied Iraq' back in the day. If it had happened during the height of the Iraq operation they were predicting US and allied mostly light forces getting chewed up by Iranian armour before any heavy formations could get in theatre. I think that was total rollocks myself as it didnt take account of Allied air power and was probably just a Cold War Warrior wet dream...

Rp>>I started looking at Iran from the other end. Hamas and Hezbollah. They are also 'states within states' providing healthcare, social services, youth sports and all sorts and receive heavy funding both from Syria and Iran. Your point about Jannisaries is excellent. The Iranian finance is allmost all through the IRG. You could well argue for the existance of series of modern day Jannisaries corps.

I've mostly been following this from the various trade papers, Middle Eastern newspapers etc. 'After Tammerlane' is quite a good overview of the 'Eurasian World island' but if anyone has any more detailed references worth the read ...as its something I want to do a bit more research on myself.
 

Travelgall

MIA
Kit Reviewer
#19
UK and USA, stingers, mujhadeen, Soviet Union, Afghanistan anyone? We all know it goes on, the Iranian/Afghan border is hardly secure. Doen't make it right but hardly areason to rev up the outrage jinglie!
Hardly a reason to rev up the outrade jinglie? These weapons are being used to kill British troops. I'm glad you seem so chilled about it, perhaps because you have have the luxury of not having to face these munitions?
 
#20
If you're part of the Iranian regime then what's going on is AFG is pure win-win - that is, apostates killing infidels. They will tread very carefully indeed so as not to interfere. Now there's an awful lot of money sloshing around AFG and so it is not surprising that people will sell weapons to whoever to get a slice of that, neither is it surprising that some are Iranians. I would also not be surprised if some Iranian state actor had given a nod and a wink to the smugglers in return for a slice of the action. Even then, it doesn't equal what we were doing to support the Muj against the USSR.
Remember, for the Iranians AFG is next door and they will most definitely be pushing hard to influence the post pullout landscape. Personally I'd expect their efforts to be mainly financial and political, building influence and so on.
 

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