Iraq – Man in US custody is top ranked Iran Quds Force commander

Reza Shafa
Quds Force Commander of Zafar Base, located in the Western city of Karmanshah, Brig. Gen. Mahmoud Farhadi was arrested by the U.S. forces in the Palace Hotel in Soleimanieh, Iraq on September 20.

Those familiar with the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war would remember Farhadi as one of the commanders of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Ramadan Base.

Ramadan is the main headquarters of the IRGC-Quds Force base with four tactical bases, the largest one Zafar in Karmanshah, Naser in the northwestern city of Naqadeh, Raad in the northwestern city of Marivan, and Fajr in the southwestern city of Ahwaz, along the 1,200 kilometers boarder with Iraq. Farhadi in his capacity as a commander of Quds Force, after the war, has been involved in some of more than 150 terrorist operations against the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) in Iraq; many of which claimed heavy civilian causalities among the local residents. The commanders of Ramadan Base have also been responsible for assassination of many Iranian Kurdish leaders in exile on the other side of the boarder in Iraq’s Kurdistan.  

Presently, Zafar Base under Farhadi is operating from northern Iraqi Kurdistan down to Diyala Province which extends to the northeast of Baghdad as far as the Iranian border.

In 1995, Farhadi received a raise and a new assignment as intelligence officer in Zafar Base of the Quds Force in Karmanshah. Farhadi’s ruthlessness in dealing with the opponents of the regime, Ten years later, gained him a new position as the commander of the base.

When the war broke out in March 2003, Farhadi with Bader Brigades under his command rolled down from Khosravi border crossing and went all the way to Baghdad.

Following the early days of the war, with the new changes in Iraqi cities, Zafar Base was quick to move the base to the boarder city of Qasr-e-Shirin. Brig. Gen. Ahmad Mesgari was the new commander. To closely follow the events, Farhadi moved to Kalar in Iraq’s Kurdistan, supervising the Quds Force’s operations in Diyala.

His mission in Kalar was to organize the Bader Brigades which nowadays has changed its name to Bader Organization. These paramilitary units were deigned form the beginning by the Quds Force to collect information on and carryout terrorist attacks both against the PMOI and the coalition forces in Iraq. 

In 2003, the U.S. forces in hot pursuit of the bombers and terrorists coming from Iran attacked the Zafar headquarters in Kalar.
Farahdi and his deputy Mohsen Zanganeh with the help from their local operatives and another group called the Socialist Party of Kurdistan close to the regime were able to survive the raid. They ended up in Karmanshah some days later.

To put his expertise into use, Farhadi was then assigned to intelligence and security unit of the Quds Force in northern Iraq. He was working in the so-called Iranian Public Relations Office in the Kurdish city of Darbandikhan some 45 kilometers south of Soleimanieh.

Subsequently, he returned to Karmanshah with the task of organzing terrorist networks in Diyala, Baghdad, and Soleimanieh provinces in Iraq.

For his excellent services in Iraq, he once again replaced his superior Mesgari as the commander of the Zafar Base of the Quds Force.

At the same time, Farhadi runs the terrorist network headed by Qeas Nasef Jasam al-Azawi (a.k.a Abu nidal al-Baghdadi) in Diyala. The network has instigating in brutal sectarian violence and is well connected to Abu Mostafa Shaybani network in Karmanshah. On August 30, 2007, Shaybani was arrested by the coalition forces in a border village.

He has a long record of terrorist activities in Iraq some of which are listed below:
•    Sending road side bombs and Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFP) as well as anti aircraft missiles to Iraq via of Diyala Province;
•    Dispatching new recruits from Iraq for training in the camps near Tehran and the holy city Qom;
•    Supervising the tactical bases of the Quds Force in the Kurdish cities of Khanaqin, Soleimanieh, Baladroze on the Iraqi side of the border and cites of Qasr-e-Shirin, Nosod, and Somar in Iranian Kurdistan.
Reza Shafa is an expert on the Iranian regime’s intelligence networks.