Iran’s Terrorist Designated IRGC Quds Force Exploiting the Red Crescent

This week the Islamic Republic of Iran observed the second anniversary of the US killing of terrorist designated Ghasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s expeditionary Quds Force. Those who had known the general in seemingly any capacity took the opportunity to pour forth their memories of him.

One of them was Ali Akbar Salehi. He talked about his trip to Libya, with Soleimani’s blessing, after the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi – and the story he told raises the strong suspicion that the Iranian Red Crescent Society might have been improperly used by the IRGC.

“When things happened in Libya and the country fell apart,” Salehi recalled, “I consulted with the General and we agreed I should pay a visit to Libya. The visit took place shortly after Gaddafi had gone, and the clashes were still ongoing. In Libya I witnessed that our friends in Quds Force quickly made it possible, with the help of the Red Crescent, to make prostheses for a number of Libyan revolutionaries who had been maimed. This shows you the compassion of Commander Soleimani for the people.”

These statements showed less about the character of Commander Soleimani than they did the possible compromising of the Iranian Red Crescent. Naturally, as long the NGO has not been used as a cover for military purposes no official transgression has taken place – had its emblem been used to further armed conflict it could be considered a war crime. However, the fact that a delegation accompanied the Quds Force in the first place is unusual.

In a statement that made waves in 2019, retired Revolutionary Guards general Commander Saeed Ghasemi claimed that during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War the IRGC had trained jihadist forces in the former Yugoslavia and collaborated with Al-Qaeda in Europe under cover of the Red Crescent.

The Iranian Red Crescent released a statement in response saying it never allows military forces to use its uniforms or its insignia. “According to the four treaties of the Geneva Convention, we are neutral in armed conflicts because our task is to support humanity and to help civilians,” it read. “If an individual or organization has used the uniform and insignia of Iran’s Red Crescent Society, it must have been without [our] cooperation.”

Also read: Iran Is Using Charities and Humanitarian Groups to Export Its Revolution

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