Iran

Implications of the Appointment of Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi as the Deputy Commander of the Qods Force

On January 20, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) appointed Seyyed Mohammad Hossein-Zadeh Hejazi to the position of the deputy commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force. Hejazi replaced Esmail Qa’ani, who was appointed as the commander of the Qods Force following the assassination of Qasem Soleimani. Hejazi is considered one of the most prominent officers in the IRGC as a whole and the Qods Force in particular.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 14-8, 2020)

This past week as well no return march was held in the Gaza Strip. Several dozen Palestinian demonstrators gathered near the border fence in two locations. This past week the Sons of al-Zawari unit announced that it was renewing its activities. The Palestinian terrorist organizationsissued a joint announcement about their visits to Tehran and participation in Qassem Soleimani's funeral.." In the Gaza Strip the terrorist leadership continued eulogizing Soleimani and referring to the great contribution he and Iran had made to the construction of the Palestinians' military capabilities.
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Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, profile of an Iraqi Shiite militia handled by the Iranian Qods Force

Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (“League of the Righteous”) is an Iraqi Shiite militia handled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force. It is one of the three most important Shiite militias which are prioritized by the Qods Force in terms of military and financial support. The two other militias are the Hezbollah Battalions (Kataeb Hezbollah) and the Nujaba Movement (Harakat al-Nujaba or Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba). These three militias played a key role during the fighting against the US forces while they were deployed in Iraq. They consist of commanders and operatives who had acquired extensive fighting experience and maintain particularly strong ties with the Qods Force. In recent years, these militias were handled by Iran in various missions promoting Iranian interests, including support of the Syrian regime, fighting against ISIS, and the suppression of protesters against the Iraqi regime. The US has imposed sanctions on all three militias.
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Spotlight on Iran (December 29, 2019 – January 12, 2020)

Last week’s events were marked by a significant escalation between the United States and Iran following the assassination of the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, in an American strike in Baghdad. In an initial response to Soleimani’s elimination, the IRGC launched ballistic missiles toward the Ayn al-Assad base in western Iraq, in which U.S. forces are present. Shortly after Soleimani’s assassination, his deputy, Esmail Qa’ani, was appointed in his stead, as the commander of the Qods Force. Qa’ani vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death, persist in his path and remove the United States from the region. Qasem Soleimani’s assassination provided an opportunity for a meeting between the heads of the Palestinian factions, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with senior Iranian officials. A delegation of both organizations, who came to Tehran to participate in Soleimani’s funeral, met during their visit with the incoming Qods Force commander.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 1 –7, 2020)

In the days after the killing of Qassem Soleimani the Gaza Strip has been almost completely quiet. This past week no return march was held. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which receive military and financial support from Iran, issued mourning notices for the death of Qassem Soleimani. A Hamas delegation led by Isma'il Haniyeh arrived in Tehran to participate in Soleimani's funeral. In March 2018 the ITIC reported that Turkey had transmitted many documents from the Ottoman State Archives to the PA, mainly those dealing with the ownership of real estate. The Israeli media recently reported that Palestinian lawyers have already begun to use the documents in the legal battles being waged regarding land registration, especially in Jerusalem.
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Initial Palestinian reactions to the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force

Contrary to the reactions of senior Iranian officials and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who did not relate to Israeli as being involved in the attack, senior Hamas and PIJ figures accused Israel of collaborating with the United States in the killing. Some even accused Israel of direct responsibility for Soleimani's death. However, Hamas and PIJ spokesmen were careful not to overtly threaten Israel. The London-based newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that senior Hamas figures had made it clear to Egypt that they had not interest in an escalation in the Gaza Strip in the wake of the killing of Soleimani (al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 5, 2020).
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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.