Iran’s regime is investing in efforts to increase its provocative and terrorist activities against maritime targets in the Middle East, the latest information obtained by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) indicates.
The information, obtained from confidential sources inside Iran and made public during a press conference by the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on Wednesday, February 2, show that the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force (IRGC-QF) is recruiting, arming, and training terror cells for this purpose.
The Quds Force is recruiting forces for its proxy terrorist groups in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and African countries and is sending them to Iran, where they receive training in specialized naval courses. These mercenaries then return to their home countries to carry out attacks based on orders from the Quds Force.
These forces are trained in naval commando tactics at the Khamenei Academy of Naval Sciences and Technology, located at Ziba Kenar on the coastline of the Caspian Sea in Gilan province, northern Iran. According to the information obtained by the MEK, 200 mercenaries from Yemen were trained at this facility in January 2020.
The Quds Force has also allocated several Persian Gulf islands, including Farur and Qeshm, to the training of the maritime terror cells. The islands are hosting training complexes, weapons stockpiles, missiles, and other facilities controlled by the IRGC Navy and the Quds Force.
The Quds Force also has an expansive smuggling network to supply its naval terror units with weapons and equipment. Bandar-e-Jask seaport is one of the main outlets for sending weapons abroad. The regime uses a variety of vessels to get the weapons to their destinations.
One stark example of the uptick in Tehran’s naval terrorism is the growing capabilities of the Houthis in Yemen. The IRGC Quds Force has provided them with speedboats, missiles, mines, and other weapons. The Houthis are using the gear to engage in asymmetric naval warfare, similar to the tactics of the IRGC Navy against commercial shipping and even military targets in the Persian Gulf.
The regime uses these proxy forces to target foreign countries and pursue its agenda in the shadow of the ongoing war in the region fueled by the Houthis in Yemen.
After the presidency of Ebrahim Raisi in August 2021, Tehran has ratcheted up its maritime terrorism, especially through the Houthis.
These efforts are complementary to the regime’s growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to carry out operations against targets in different Middle East countries. And in the background, the regime continues its uranium enrichment program while it is meeting with foreign powers in Vienna. And it continues to suppress protesters and dissidents inside Iran, carrying out arbitrary arrests and executions at alarming levels.
The latest batch of information disclosed by the Iranian Resistance is a further reminder of the regime’s threat to regional and global peace and security, which is exacerbated by the West’s insistence on continuing their appeasement policy vis-à-vis Tehran. The regime is taking advantage of Western nations’ focus on nuclear talks to further expand its other threat vectors in the region.
Turning a blind eye on the Iranian regime’s terrorism and its human rights violations is emboldening Tehran to expand its rogue behavior across the Middle East and create even more mayhem throughout the region.
The international community should take a holistic approach toward Iran and impose sanctions in response to the Iranian regime’s efforts to destabilize the region and crackdown on protests inside Iran.