Iranian controversial conservative activist Saeed Ghasemi during an Interview with a photo in background showing him and his comrades during the Bosnian conflict in the early 1990s - Tasnim
Iranian controversial conservative activist Saeed Ghasemi during an Interview with a photo in background showing him and his comrades during the Bosnian conflict in the early 1990s - Tasnim

IRGC former general says they were in Bosnia disguised as aid workers

Wed, Apr. 17, 2019
CAIRO – 17 April 2019: Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on April 17 denied the veracity of remarks by one of its former generals who has claimed to have worn Iran's Red Crescent Society's (IRCS) uniform for "military purposes" during the civil war in Bosnia.

According to RadioFarda, Saeed Qassemi, a retired IRGC General, is an outspoken ultraconservative, renowned for his vitriolic attacks on reformist former President Mohammad Khatami, and the incumbent "moderate" President Hassan Rouhani.

In an interview with the state-approved internet channel, Aparat, Qassemi maintained on April 14 that he had visited Bosnia in the 1990s to train Bosnian Muslim fighters against the Serbs while wearing the Iranian Red Crescent uniform.

In the same interview, Qassemi admits that he is divulging the fact since the Americans had already discovered the ruse and written about it.

IRGC's spokesman, Ramazan Sharif dismissing Qassemi's rmarks said, "Mr. Saeed Qassemi's remarks, who for a while was in Bosnia voluntarily and has retired a long time ago, are his personal views, devoid of credibility and are not shared by the IRGC", according to ISNA.

An hour after the IRGC statement, President Hassan Rouhani's office also dismissed Qassemi's remarks, saying that his claims help "the enemy".

Qassemi's remarks come just days after the U.S. State Department listed the IRGC as a "Foreign Terrorist Organization", accusing it of supporting militant groups around the world.

The Iranian Red Crescent has also officially dismissed Qassemi's claims and has threatened to sue him. "If an individual or a state entity has used the logo or uniform of the IRCS for operations against the aims and principles of the International Red Cross Society, it definitely happened without the permission of the IRCS or in coordination with it", IRCS announced.

Even if the IRCS permission was sought, the statement argues, it would have never been given.

"Based on the four conventions ratified in Geneva, the IRCS is impartial in armed conflicts since it has the important responsibility of supporting the humanity, and the civilians," the statement has insisted.

In his interview with Aparat, Qassemi, 59, has revealed information concerning the presence of the Islamic Republic armed forces in Bosnia that might place the IRCS and the Islamic Republic in a tough position.

During the interview, the former IRGC Commander boasted about his role and that of his comrades in the Bosnian civil war, while they were wearing the IRCS uniforms.
 
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