Iran

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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Spotlight on Iran (March 7, 2021 – March 21, 2021)

Two fighters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) were killed in a mine explosion in al-Mayadin, eastern Syria. The advisor on foreign affairs to the supreme leader of Iran met with the incoming Syrian ambassador to Tehran and passed on the wishes of speedy recovery from the supreme leader of Iran to the Syrian president, who recently contracted COVID-19. In an extraordinary statement, a former Iranian Majlis member stated that it can not be ruled out that Syria will change its approach toward Iran is the future, and hence Iran must not place all its eggs in President Assad’s basket. The Iranian ambassador to Baghdad met with the Iraqi minister of finance and discussed the issue of releasing Iranian funds frozen in Iraqi banks due to Western sanctions. Esmail Qa’ani, the Commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, stated in a commemoration ceremony in the city of Mashhad that Israel is forced to wall itself off to protect itself, and warned “the Zionists” that they should know that this wall too will be destroyed.
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Spotlight on Iran (February 21, 2021 – March 7, 2021)

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the American strike against targets of the Iraqi pro-Iranian militias on the Syrian side of the Iraqi-Syrian border, on the night of February 25-26. In late February, the Spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saeed Khatibzadeh, visited Damascus. A conference to examine opportunities to expand the commercial cooperation between Iran and Syria was held in Tehran. The Iraqi minister of foreign affairs arrived for a second visit in less than a month in Tehran. Tensions between Iran and Turkey after the Iranian ambassador to Iraq gave an interview to a Kurdish TV channel, during which the ambassador lambasted Turkey’s intervention in northern Iraq.
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Spotlight on Iran (February 7, 2021 – February 21, 2021)

The Senior Adviser to the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali-Asghan Khaji, met with the Syrian president and discussed with him developments in the country and the ongoing negotiations concerning the settlement of the war. The American Arabic TV channel al-Hurra reported, based on foreign intelligence sources, about the smuggling of heavy weaponry by the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) across the Syria-Iraq border. The Head of the Iranian Judiciary, Ibrahim Raisi, arrived for a visit in Iraq, lasting a number of days, during which the two countries signed three memoranda of understanding concerning cooperation in the legal sphere, prisoner exchanges and combatting corruption. The spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied any Iranian involvement in the rocket attack on the Erbil International Airport and its environs, which killed a contractor of the U.S. armed forces.
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Spotlight on Iran (January 24, 2021 – February 7, 2021)

Iranian and Syrian cargo planes continue to make frequent flights between Damascus and Tehran. In early February, the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs arrived for a visit in Tehran during which he met with senior Iranian officials, chief among them the president, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and the Iranian minister of foreign affairs. In late January, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Jeanine Antoinette Plasschaert, visited Tehran and met with senior Iranian officials, including the senior adviser on international affairs to the supreme leader of Iran, and the special adviser to the speaker of the Majlis.
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Spotlight on Iran (January 10, 2021 – January 24, 2021)

Senior Iranian officials avoided publicly commenting on the reports about Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) strikes on eastern Syria on the night between January 12th and 13th against targets linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the pro-Iranian militias. The former commander of the artillery force of the IRGC in Syria stated in an interview to Iranian TV that Iran’s involvement in Syria, which was intended to prevent the collapse of the Assad regime, started before ISIS began its entrenchment in Syria. The fourth conference of the joint Iranian-Iraqi economic committee was held in Tehran, in the presence of senior state officials, and public and private sector businessmen to discuss expanding the cooperation between the two countries in the energy, transportation, tourism, construction, water and electricity sectors.
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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.