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U..S. Sanctions Iran’s International Network of Islamic Seminaries, Accuses them of Jihad Recruitment

As the West continues to be duped by Muslim Brotherhood-linked lobbies, pushing the “Islamophobia” subterfuge which serves as a cover to advance the jihad, Iran continues to expand its operations worldwide via its proxies, and is eager for a Biden administration to further facilitate its ambitions.

Some background about Al-Mustafa International University:

In February 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini and a group of clergymen attached to him, seized the power in Iran. From the onset, Khomeini’s regime utilized all the means and tools in its disposal to establish and fortify its brand of fundamentalism in Iran and export it throughout the Islamic world….Al Mustafa international university founded in 2007 is one of the most important among these organizations.”

Aside from Islamic indoctrination at the university, thousands of “high value individuals” from Pakistan and Afghanistan were courted by the regime’s elite Quds Force to be recruited as jihadists, and “multiple students from the university have been killed fighting in Syria.” In a characteristic deception, the university earlier in December claimed that “it promoted “peace, friendship, and brotherhood among nations” and “slammed the U.S. decision as ‘hegemonic.’”

“U.S. Sanctions Put Spotlight On Iran’s International Network Of Religious Seminaries,” by Frud Bezhan, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,December 22, 2020 (thanks to Henry):

Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran’s clerical establishment has used religious organizations to expand its clout abroad.

Key among them is the Al-Mustafa International University, a network of religious seminaries based in the Shi’ite holy city of Qom that has branches in some 50 countries.

The university claims to teach Shi’ite Muslim theology, Islamic science, and Iran’s national language, Persian, to tens of thousands of foreign students across Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America.

But Tehran’s adversaries say the university has been involved in espionage and recruited foreign fighters for Iran’s proxy war in Syria.

For years, experts have documented the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) recruitment, training, and deployment of thousands of Shi’ite fighters to Syria to defend the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, Tehran’s key ally in the brutal civil war that erupted in 2011.

‘Recruitment Platform’

The United States imposed sanctions on the massive university network on December 8, alleging that it was involved in the recruitment of Afghan and Pakistani students to fight in the Syrian conflict.

The U.S. Treasury Department said Iran’s elite Quds Force, the overseas operations arm of the IRGC, used the university’s foreign branches as a “recruitment platform” for “intelligence collection and operations,” including recruitment for pro-Iranian militias.

The Treasury Department alleged that the Quds Force used the Al-Mustafa International University as a “cover” to recruit Afghans for the blacklisted Fatemiyoun Brigade, a pro-Iranian militia that fought in Syria.

Moreover, Treasury said the Quds Force also used Al-Mustafa’s campus in Qom “as a recruitment ground” for Pakistani students to join the blacklisted Zeynabiyoun Brigade, a militia that consisted of Pakistani Shi’a.

Treasury added that “multiple students from the university have been killed fighting in Syria.”

In a statement on December 9, the university said it promoted “peace, friendship, and brotherhood among nations” and slammed the U.S. decision as “hegemonic.”

‘High-Value Individuals’

Ali Alfoneh, a senior fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington who has closely monitored IRGC activity in Syria, said that, according to his database from January 2012 to December 2020, 3,059 Iranian and allied foreign fighters were killed in combat in Syria.

Alfoneh says of those, only three were students or graduates of the Al-Mustafa International University — known as Jamiat al-Mostafa University in Iran.

“This indicates that Jamiat al-Mostafa has never served as the primary recruitment ground for the IRGC’s war effort in Syria,” he says.

The IRGC recruited thousands of Afghan migrants and refugees within its own borders and covertly drafted hundreds of Shi’a inside Afghanistan. The same strategy was used to recruit Pakistanis.

Alfoneh says the “three individuals identified appear to have been in command, intelligence, or political-ideological indoctrination positions.”

That means, he said, that the IRGC perceived the graduates or students of the Al-Mustafa International University as “high-value individuals.”…

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