Exposing the activities of Iranian Cultural Centers, which is actively working towards spreading Shiism, the Syrian Observatory said:
Since the eighties, Iran has worked on spreading Shiite centers through Iranian embassies around the world, and because of the privileged relations of the Assad regime’s (both the father and the son) with Tehran; Syria has become one of the most prominent stations of Iranian activity to spread Shiism in the recent years through cultural and religious centers and the educational missions, with these relations strengthened in the post-2011 era, Tehran has stepped up its religious and cultural activities to consolidate its influence over civilians across Syria.
According to information obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Shiite activity in Iran has expanded through the establishment of 5 Iranian universities in recent years: “Teacher Education, al-Farabi, Islamic Azad, al-Mustafa, University of Islamic Doctrines”, as well as 40 private Shiite schools in the capital Damascus, and forcing the regime to open 10 sharia schools across Syria that teach the curriculum in accordance with Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq way, in an effort to change the structure of Syrian society and transform it into a society that is loyal to the regime of Wilayat al-Faqih, Iran has granted privileges to members of Iranian universities, such as scholarships to complete studies at Iranian universities.
Although the Great Prophet’s Complex was established in Latakia as the first Shiite cultural gathering in the city, its activity has expanded in recent years to include 7 schools and 50 institutes, and all over Syria, Iran has built and spread more than 500 Hussainiyas and 69 Shiite Huzeh, as well as opening tens of cultural centers across Syria to spread the Persian language through the Persian Language Lovers program, and what makes the activity of the Iranian Shiite worse is that these centers, Hussainiyas, and Huzehs operate independently without any interventions from any Syrian ministries, and they directly follow Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
In late January 2019, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published a report revealing Iran’s massive intellectual incursions through its forces in Syria, where sources of the Observatory confirmed that the Iranian forces continued their movements in carrying out more “Shiism” operations, including converting more of the population to the Shiism doctrine by paying money, providing aid, or trying to resolve outstanding issues for the population, also the Syrian Observatory published reports from reliable sources confirming that that the Azan is raised within the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor according to the Shiite doctrine, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: al-Tammu neighborhood on the road of Qal’aat al-Rahba near the Power Station in al-Mayadin city, on the west banks of Euphrates River in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, witnessed repeating the Azan in al-Tammu mosque, which the Iranians take it as their own in neighborhood the city, where the sources confirmed that the neighborhood includes more than 250 members of Iranian forces and militias of the Shiite sect, and they take the houses of the neighborhood as their residence out of about 800 members of these forces and militias, the Azan was heard in the neighborhood’s Mosque and the people noticed the words of the Azan were spoken according to the Shiite doctrine, which are repeated at all times of Azan, also this mosque where the Azan is being raised is considered a private mosque, and it is prevented for those who are not officers of members of the Iranians and followers of the Shiite sect to enter it.
The Syrian Observatory had monitored the arrival of tens of Asian families to the west of Euphrates River, coming to areas controlled by the Iranian forces and the militias loyal to them, within the eastern sector of Deir Ezzor countryside, and according to information obtained by the Observatory at the time: about 50 families of the Iranian and Afghan families arrived at al-Mayadin city west of Euphrates River, they are families of fighters in the Iranian and Afghan militias of the Shiite sect, also these families speak Persian and the languages spoken in Afghanistan, the sources confirmed that they were resettled in the area of Dahr al-Alwa in the al-Mayadin city, in houses where the “Islamic State” seized previously under the pretext of “their owners are in the countries of the infidels”.
The transfer of these families is not a coincidence, it is a systematic process for the spreading of Iranian culture, Shiism, and demographic change in Syria, where reliable sources revealed to the Syrian Observatory, that the arrival of these families came after the Irani Revolutionary Guard opened the door of “enlisting” in its forces operating on the Syrian territory within Deir Ezzor Province for the first time in the countryside of Deir Ezzor province, and the sources confirmed that this is the first time the enlisting in the ranks of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces is opened, where previously the enlisting only included the Iranian-funded militias which are backed by the Iranian Forces, such as al-Nujabaa militias, Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas, and Hezbollah, while the majority of the Syrian volunteers are from the provinces of Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, and Rif Dimashq.
The Syrian Observatory monitored volunteer operations by former members who defected of the regime and by those wishing to “settle their situation”, as well as former fighters in the ranks of the regime and other citizens from Deir Ezzor province, the sources said that the majority of them from are al-Quriyah area in the countryside of “al-Mayadin,” also the process of luring citizens and volunteers is done through allocating monthly salaries, in addition to immunity from the regime forces and arrest, while the salaries vary from the west of the Euphrates to the south of Syria, and they start from $150 USD to about $300 USD, according to the proximity of the volunteer to the Syrian border with the occupied Syrian Golan.
In the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that Iran is seeking to maintain its control of “Tehran – Beirut” road; by establishing a popular base in the area that prevents its loss of the strategic road between the Iranian capital and the Lebanese capital, where the process is being carried out by attempting to restore the rights of the population whose property has been seized by volunteers or recruits of Iranian militias, to gain the friendliness and satisfaction of the population in order for them to join its ranks, Iran also distributes food, clothing, blankets, living and study supplies that have Persian writings, also the Iranian forces in their process of expanding are depending on preventing the regime forces from committing abuses against the population, pushing the people to resort to the Iranian Forces to collect their property and rights stolen from members of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them.
According to sources of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the Shiite activity that Iran is working on in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor starts from several centers in different areas in Syria, perhaps the most prominent of which is the center of al-Imam al-Mahdi, which is run by a Shiite person named Mahmoud al-Adai al-Jubouri, and the main branch of this center is located in Sayyidah Zainab area in the capital Damascus, and has branches in all Syrian provinces which care under regime’s control, this center mainly works to spread Shiism in the area and holding seminars and Shiite rituals in its branches, and this center had honored several ministers of regime’s government and officers of the 4th Division of regime’s army, where this center honored the Minister of Justice Najm Hamad al-Ahmad and several judges, on the pretext that they are making efforts to ensure the judicial process is full and continuous in light of what Syria is going through, which gives the impression that the regime knows very well what this center is doing.
According to information obtained by the Syrian Observatory: the second in the list of the Iranian centers that spread Shiism is the Iranian Cultural Center which -through seminars- introduces the Iranian culture and achievements of the “Khomeini” revolution, this center seeks to penetrate the circles of Syrians, which makes it adopts all celebrations of the Syrian national holidays in Deir Ezzor Province such as Mother’s Day and Teacher’s Day, and usually, its celebrations are held in the presence and care of Iranian personalities, and the pictures of “Khomeini” and “Khamenei” are strongly present next to Iranian flags at those celebrations.
On the 1st of April 2019, the Syrian Observatory learned that the so-called
“Iranian Cultural Center” in the al-Mayadin city organized a ceremony on the occasion of Mother and Teacher’s Day, which was attended by the leader of the Iranian militias in the city, figures of al-Baath party, and tribal figures in the area, and it was met with popularly resentment, due to raising pictures of the Supreme Leader of Iran next to pictures of the president of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which comes within the Russian –Iranian competition to build a larger supporting population than the other’s.
The Observatory’s information confirms that there is no accurate statistics for the numbers of those converted to Shi’a, but some informed sources indicated that their numbers in Deir Ezzor province reached 1710 Syrian men and young men of different ages, and the activity of Shiism is shown in several cities in the west Euphrates area in Deir Ezzor countryside, like the al-Mayadin city and its countryside, al-Bokamal city and its countryside, and the villages of “Hatla”, “Marat” and al-Mesrab.
In Daraa province, sources of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights indicate that the known Shiite centers in the province are 3 affiliation offices in Sayda, Izra’a, and al-Sabil Neighborhood, and regarding the numbers of those converted to Shiism, informed sources indicate that their numbers are secret and no one knows them, and the reason for this concern about the lives of those who enlisted in these centers, where sources of the Observatory confirm that those who announce that they convert to Shiism or that they belong to these centers are killed, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the rise of a number of volunteers in the Syrian south to more than 2910 people, where Iran is exploiting the Russian enemy’s preoccupation with killings and blood in the north of Syria, to empower its winning card in the framework of the cold war between both parties.
What do those who convert to Shiism or those who affiliate to these centers get or gain? This is the question revealed by the Syrian Observatory’s sources, where informed sources revealed that every one of them gets up to 120000 Syrian pounds, unlike other assistance presented by Shiite centers and Iranian affiliation centers, the sources also indicate that the Shiites were mainly present in Bosra al-Sham and Kahil in the eastern countryside as well as Sheikh Meskin and Izra’a, and most of their communities are now in areas of Izra’a and Sheikh Meskin.
According to informed sources who report to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the assassinations that took place in Daraa over the past weeks are all related to members of the Shiite centers whose identities have been revealed, including an attempt to assassinate one of the affiliated persons in Jellin town, but the target survived, also the attempted assassination against the aid worker Abu al-Majd al-Ghanem on the 11th of June 2019, Sources of the Observatory also indicate that converting to Shiism operation is carried out in secret fearing the fate of death if their identities were exposed, and according to the sources, these Shiites hold their Syrian identities, but they do not dare to enter areas of the military security.