The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating Iraj Masjedi, a general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Iran’s Ambassador to Iraq, for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF. A close adviser to former IRGC-QF Commander Qassem Soleimani, Masjedi played a formative role in the IRGC-QF’s Iraq policy. In his decades of service with the group, Masjedi has overseen a program of training and support to Iraqi militia groups, and he has directed or supported groups that are responsible for attacks that have killed and wounded U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. In his current capacity, Masjedi has exploited his position as the Iranian regime’s ambassador in Iraq to obfuscate financial transfers conducted for the benefit of the IRGC-QF;
Iraj Masjedi is the current Iranian ambassador to Iraq, having previously served in the Revolutionary Guards for 35 years. A veteran of Iran–Iraq War, Masjedi was a senior Quds Force commander and served as a top advisor to Qassem Soleimani. He was designated as the ambassador to Iraq in January 2017 and assumed office in April 2017;
Iran’s ambassador to Iraq since 2017, Masjedi has publicly admitted the IRGC-QF’s role in special operations and the training of militia groups in Iraq, Syria, and beyond. He claims credit for organizing and supporting regional militias to advance Iran’s interests throughout the Middle East an enterprise that has spawned untold destruction and corruption, robbing Iraq of a stable, prosperous future;
Masjedi has facilitated financial transfers for the benefit of the IRGC-QF in coordination with IRGC-QF financial facilitator Hushang Allahdad, acting at the direction of former IRGC-QF Commander Soleimani and his successor, Esma’il Ghani. Soleimani was designated pursuant to multiple authorities, including E.O. 13224, in 2011, while Allahdad and Ghani were designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Since 2018, Masjedi has helped the IRGC-QF obtain foreign currency in Iraq, in return for equivalent sums that the IRGC-QF in Iran has transferred to relevant entities. Most recently, Masjedi has provided direct assistance in obtaining tens of billions of dinars on behalf of the IRGC-QF in Iraq;
In the decades prior to his ambassadorial appointment, Masjedi was a senior figure overseeing IRGC-QF activities in Iraq, which included attacks targeting U.S. and coalition personnel, as well as kidnappings and the assassination of Iraqi provincial officials who sought to curb Iranian influence in Iraq. The IRGC-QF provided training for Iraqi recruits, often inside Iran. The Iraqi recruits hailed from groups loyal to, and supported by, the IRGC-QF, which help maintain Iranian influence in Iraqi politics and security. The IRGC-QF also manufactured and distributed weapons, including explosively formed penetrators, that killed and wounded hundreds during Operation Iraqi Freedom;
The Revolutionary Guards considers the Iranian embassy in Baghdad of strategic importance within the states that are subject to Iranian influence;
Masjedi has a dark record of playing a major role in suppressing the Iraqi people and specifically leading genocidal attacks targeting locals of Diyala Province, a melting pot bordering Iran where Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and others used to live in peace prior to Iran’s covert occupation of Iraq from 2003 onward;
Masjedi is a loathed figure in Iraq for his efforts to completely restructure the province’s social fabric. He is known for his remarks justifying Iran’s military presence in Iraq. The IRGC has stationed around 7,000 armed Quds Force-affiliated elements in various cities across Iraq;
The main mission of Masjedi is the consolidation and expansion of Iranian hegemony over Iraq as the most important point for the export of crisis and insecurity in the region. His agenda includes:
– Using Iraq to interfere in neighboring countries. Iran is particularly seeking to have the ability to interfere in Saudi Arabia through Iraq in any potential development in the region.
– Interfering in Iraq’s 2018 elections, preventing a free election and blocking the victory of the patriotic and national forces. This includes returning the ultra-corrupt and vicious sectarian Nouri al-Maliki and his gang to power.
– Expansion of Hashd al-Shaabi and militants linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iraq and their dominance over the military, political, security and the Iraqi economy. Iran wishes to replicate the experience of the IRGC in Iraq.
– Circumvent international sanctions against Iran by utilising facilities within Iraq, particularly by using the Central Bank of Iraq.
– IRGC control over Iraq’s oil resources and economic projects.
Iraj Masjedi created terrorist networks, militias, and Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi. Since the creation of the Quds Force, Masjedi became the commander of its first division, whose task was to carry out terrorist operations in Iraq and it controlled the 9 Badr and Supreme Council terrorist groups. Other militias that were formed later by him are now involved in killings and crimes in Iraq and Syria. Faleh Fayyaz, the head of Hashd al-Shaabi who has been the Iraqi government National Security Adviser, as well as known terrorists such as AbuMahdi al-Mohandes and Hadi al-Ameri, Qais al-Khazali, Akram al-Kaabi, Hashem al-Moussawi and many other militia commanders, were all under the control of Masjedi. It is well known that most terrorist activities in Iraq during the past 14 years and the bombing and killing of Iraqi civilians, were all carried out under his supervision;
Also Known As:
Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi
Reason for the color:
» Added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on October 22, 2020 pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the IRGC-QF;
» Appointment of Iraj Masjedi, a War Criminal, as Iranian Ambassador to Iraq;
» Get to Know Iran’s Terrorist ‘Ambassador’ to Iraq;