Iran

Spotlight on Iran (May 27, 2021 – June 10, 2021)

Two senior officers, IRGC advisers to the Syrian army, were ambushed by ISIS and killed in Syria on their way from Deir ez-Zor to Palmyra. The Iranian media avoided referring to them as senior officers. On June 9, the commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force arrived for talks in Baghdad with senior Iraqi politicians and commanders of Shia militias. The New York Times reported that Iran is behind several attacks carried out in recent months against American targets in Iraq using advanced armed drones. The Iranian minister of energy announced that Iraq agreed to release 125 million dollars of the Iranian funds frozen in Iraqi banks to allow Iran to purchase vaccines against COVID-19.
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Spotlight on Iran (May 13, 2021 – May 27, 2021)

During the Israeli military operation in Gaza (“Guardian of the Walls”), senior Iranian officials maintained constant contact with the senior leaderships of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. On May 22, following the visit of the Iranian minister of foreign affairs to Damascus, Iran opened a consulate in the city of Aleppo. The Iranian minister of defense met with deputies of the ministers of trade and industry in Syria and discussed with them the participation of conglomerates linked to the Iranian ministry of defense in Syria’s reconstruction.
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Spotlight on Iran (May 2, 2021 – May 13, 2021)

Sources in Syria reported that the Afghan militia, the Fatemiyoun Brigade, which operates in Syria under the guidance of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has begun recruiting local Syrians into its ranks. Iran’s newly appointed Ambassador to Damascus, Mehdi Sobhani, assumed him position after it was confirmed by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Iraqi protesters in the city of Karbala in southern Iraq torched the wall of the Iranian consulate in the city. The Head of Hamas’ Politburo, Ismail Hanniyeh, sent a message to the supreme leader of Iran, updating him about the latest developments in Jerusalem, and calling on the Muslim world to stand by the Palestinians in the struggle against Israel’s policies in the city, and to support to the Palestinian “resistance.”
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Spotlight on Iran (April 18, 2021 – May 2, 2021)

Iranian threats toward Israel: the chief of staff of Iran’s Armed Forces threatened with Iranian retaliation if Israel persists in striking Iranian interests in Syria and at sea. In addition, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) threatened that Iran will respond to any “evil action” by the “Zionists” against it, with a force equal to the blow it is dealt, or even with greater force.
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Spotlight on Iran (April 4–18, 2021)

In mid-April, the senior adviser to the Iranian minister of foreign affairs met with the special envoy of the Russian president to the Middle East and with the UN special envoy to Syria and discussed developments in Syria, and particularly the negotiations concerning the settlement of the war. Iranian news websites reported that the wife of the Syrian president, Asmaa’ al-Assad, recently acted to stop the activities of private companies in Syria that are linked to Iranian investors. On April 5-6, the commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) visited Iraq and met with senior Iraqi officials and heads of parties and political blocs in the country. On April 12, the Iraqi national security adviser arrived for a visit in Tehran, during which he met with the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, the minister of defense and minister of foreign affairs of Iran.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 21, 2021 – April 4, 2021)

The activity of Iran and its proxies in eastern Syria: fighters of the Afghan Fatemiyoun Brigade, which operates under the guidance of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Syria held training maneuvers in southeastern Syria. An investigation of Agence France-Presse revealed that the control of Shia pro-Iranian militias of Iraq’s border crossings has allowed them to funnel billions of dollars in customs duties, which ought to have been collected by the State, to their own coffers, to political parties connected to them and corrupt officials. In the economic sphere: the head of the Joint Iranian-Syrian Chamber of Commerce estimated that the volume of trade between Iran and Syria will rise in the coming year. The Iranian ambassador to Yemen rejected the Saudi peace proposal for resolving the crisis in Yemen and declared that any real initiative to end the war will entail lifting the siege placed on Yemen, withdrawing of Saudi armed forces, and an end to Saudi Arabia’s support for its “mercenaries” in the country.
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Iran

Exporting the Islamic Revolution was one of the Iranian Revolution’s original, basic objectives. Iran seeks regional hegemony and more than that – dominance of the Muslim world. To that end, Iran has developed a network of underground organizations and terrorist groups within Islamic (especially Shiite) communities in the Middle East and around the world, including Africa, Latin America, Asia and beyond. In the Middle East, Iran is leading an anti-American and anti-Israeli Shiite axis struggling against the Middle Eastern Sunni countries led by Saudi Arabia. The Iranian axis (the “Axis of Resistance”) includes Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Bahrain. In these countries, Iran handles proxy organizations operating to promote Iran’s interests.

Israeli-Iranian relations had their ups and downs. During the reign of the Shah of Iran, the two countries were allied politically. After the revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, Iran revoked its recognition of Israel and ended all official relations with it.

To implement its anti-Israeli policies, Iran has broadened its ties to the terrorist organizations operating against Israel. Iran instigates terrorist organizations, especially the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, to attack Israel, and finances and arms both organizations. In recent years, large shipments of weapons from Iran have been intercepted as they were en route to the Palestinian terrorist organizations.


To promote its regional and global interests and aspirations, Iran is developing military nuclear capabilities. It is also developing long-range missiles and warheads which can reach Israel, the rest of the Middle East, and Europe.