Iran International has received reports that Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi and Kata’ib Hezbollah forces have arrived in Iran probably to help suppress protesters.
Hashd al-Shaabi and Kata’ib Hezbollah are radical Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups which are part of the Popular Mobilization Forces backed by Iran.
According to eyewitness information received by Iran International, 150 people aged between 25 and 30, wearing special uniforms and carrying black bags, flew to Mashhad airport in northeastern Iran from Baghdad airport on Monday.
It is said that a charter flight transferred the special forces from the VIP section of Baghdad airport.
Some say the people were led by two Iranians and no one was allowed to approach their gate (Gate 43).
In the past years, there have been similar reports about deployment of repressive forces to Iran from countries where Iranian proxy militia groups operate, including Lebanon.
Recently, an unverified – and seemingly fake -- document, showing an official Hezbollah letter, was leaked on social media, claiming that Iran-backed Lebanese militant group was sending forces to help the Islamic Republic crackdown on protesters.
The document, allegedly leaked from the office of Hezbollah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah two weeks ago – dated October 14 -- said that personnel from unit 133 and unit 910 (special foreign operations) are being prepared to be deployed to defend the Islamic regime. The total number of these forces is 9,500 people.
According to a report by the Jerusalem Post in October, plainclothesmen with Lebanese-accented Arabic were seen trying to help Iranian security to suppress protesters in various cities, including in the capital of Tehran, creating speculation that Hezbollah and Iraq’s Shiite militias have been helping the Islamic Republic in its clampdown.
The clerical regime has tried not to give any hint of foreign forces being used against Iranian protesters, possibly even killing them, knowing that such information will anger the population.
The reason behind this move by the Islamic Republic could be its concern that the Iranian police might not follow orders to attack unarmed, ordinary people, or simply because its forces are insufficient to stop protests in more than 100 cities.
Fars News Agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guard, earlier refuted the claims saying “The claim about the presence of Iran’s regional allies such as Hashd al-Shaabi and Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the internal events of our country has been said before. This proposition is repeated every time when some people say they heard security forces speaking with an Arabic accent in the [protest] rallies!”
The IRGC’s Quds (Qods) Force, which is responsible for extraterritorial operations, has for many years recruited and backed proxies across the Middle East focusing on special operations, sabotage, and finance. The Quds force is run directly by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, having relations with armed groups in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and the Palestinian territories.