Iranian Armed Forces Official Representative Impedes American-Iranian Relations to Improve

Azerbaijan, Baku, 29 October / Trend , corr. D.Ibrahimova, T.Jafarov /The statement made by the commander of the Iranian Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) on the military support of resistance movements in the Middle East is due to unwillingness to improve the ties between the United States and Iran.

One of the leaders of Sepah, Houssein Khamedi, said in his interview to local media that Iran delivered armament to 'liberation armies in Middle East'.

"Our armaments are all-sufficient - liberation army of the region also receives part of arms from us," Khamedi said, the Interfax reported.

The Iranian Government did not make statement on the issue.

"Khamedi made this statement, but it may be because he fears the possibility of improved Iranian-American relations in the last days of the Bush administration or in an Obama  administration," Prof. Mark N. Katz in the George Mason University, told Trend via e-mail.

Sepah troops were founded by the order of Iranian spiritual leader imam Khomeini in 1980. The troops defend the borders of the country and achievements of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Sepah troops, like the army, are the official military units in Iran. These armies play significant role in the political and economic spheres of the country.

Before, Iranian officials stated that they rendered only moral support to resistance movements in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq.

In 2006, Khomeini said that the Hezbollah party, the leader of the peoples willing freedom, and supported all the resistant movements against Israel, United Kingdom and U.S..

"Khamedi's statement is significant for two reasons - his position as top military leader and the fact that this is the first time an Iranian official confirms that Tehran provides assistance to "liberation armies", Bahgat Gawdad, an American expert on Iran and director of the Middle Eastern Studies Centre, told Trend .

Improvement of ties would be good for Iran, but, according to Katz, it would be bad for Sepahs and radical groups, as to improve the relations with the U.S. Iran have to stop supporting armed movements abroad.

"Khamedi hopes that the relations between Washington and Teheran will be reduced at least," Katz said.

Such statements show that there is not a co-ordination in Iran. While President Ahmadinejad stands for stabilization of the relations with the U.S. and sends letters to Bush and offers to hold talks, Khamedi's similar statements shows the absence of co-ordination amongst officials.

"Contradictory statements by officials is a usual style for Iranian policy, and such statements hinder to understand the true political purpose of the country," Gawdad  said.  

Alireza Nourizadeh, the chairman of the London based Science and Research Centre to study the Arabian-Iranian relations, holds the same opinion.

According to west based experts, the statement will complicate the relations between U.S and Iran. Katz is sure that the relations with Washington will be complicated after that statement.

"U.S. may use the step as the proof that Iran destabilizes the region, and therefore Teheran cannot be permitted to reach the potential to produce the nuclear armament," Kenneth Katzman, a member of the U.S. Congress Research Centre, told Trend via e-mail.

According to Nourizadeh, the fact that Iran renders armament support to resistance movements in the Middle Eat is not new news for the west.

"West will not react on Khamedi's statements, as it knows that Iran support Hezbollah and HAMA movements," Nourizadeh told Trend via a telephone. However, there are factors which do not depend on Khamedi and can induce the Iranian leader to seek other ways to improve the relations with U.S., Katz said.

"One is the worldwide economic crisis which is having an especially negative impact on countries that export petroleum and not much else. Another is that Tehran may come to realize that the departure of American troops from Iraq may not necessarily be in Iran's interests since this may result in an unstable Iraq which may turn to Iran," Katz said.

E. Tariverdiyeva contributed in the article.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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