TEHRAN, May 05 (Press Shia) – Commander of IRGC’s Ansar-ol-Mahdi Corps, responsible for protection of senior Iranian officials, said the Corps have thwarted 15 aircraft hijack attempts since 1984.

General Ali Nasiri, commander of IRGC’s Ansar-ol-Mahdi Corps, made the remark in a press conference held Sat. on the occasion of the anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s order that put the Revolutionary Guard Corps in charge of protecting senior officials since 1979. The order came in the wake of the assassination of Iranian cleric and politician Morteza Motahari and an assasniaion attempt on late Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The Supreme National Security Council is in charge of deciding who should be protected by IRGC and who should receive protection from the Law Enforcement Force, Gen. Nasiri said.

Nasiri also maintained that IRGC is responsible for the protection of the heads of the three branches of government, their deputies, a number of ministers and leaders of countries visiting Iran. IRGC is also in charge of protecting sensitive sites, he added.

According to him, the IRGC’s Ansar-ol-Mahdi Corps have managed to thwart 15 airplane highjack attempts since 1984; “in 11 cases, the attempts were foiled during an operation and the rest were thwarted without initiating any physical measure,” he said, adding “there were two successful highjack attempts which had not been under protection of Ansar-ol-Mahdi Corps; one was carried out on an airplane belonging to Saha Airlines and the other was on a Falcon jet.”

“The Corps have had 300 martyrs to this day, most of whom lost their lives during the Sacred Defense (Iran-Iraq War),” he said. “Last year, we lost four guards in Syria, and one was killed during the terrorist attack on the Parliament on ‎7 June 2017.”

Nasiri further stressed that the terrorist attack on the Parliament promoted IRGC to take a series of preventive measures.