Iran

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (April 17– April 30, 2019)

In the Gaza Strip, 6,000 to 7,000 Palestinians participated in the Friday return marches of April 19 and 26, gathering at the five usual sites. The level of violence continued to be relatively low. On April 28, 2019, a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory. Senior Hamas figures continued to threaten Israel with a renewal of violence if Israel did not implement the understandings reached. In Judea and Samaria, a stabbing attack targeting Border Police fighter was prevented.
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Hossein Salami The New Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps

On April 21, 2019, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, appointed Hossein Salami to the position of the new Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC); Salami is the eighth commander of the force. Salami, who served as the Deputy Commander of the IRGC over the past decade, replaced Mohammad-Ali Jafari, who served at the IRGC Commander since September 2007. Upon retirement from his position, Jafari was appointed to head the cultural-social command, Baqiatollah al-A'zam, which is charged with “soft power warfare” led by the IRGC, intended to counter perceived Western efforts to promote “cultural penetration” of Iran.
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Spotlight on Iran (April 7, 2019 – April 18, 2019)

On April 8, the United States Department of State announced that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) will be designated as a foreign terrorist organization starting April 15. In response, Iran designated the Central Command of the U.S. Armed Forces (CENTCOM), which covers the Middle East, as a terrorist organization. The American designation aroused a wave of sharp condemnations and threats from senior Iranian officials and supporters of Iran in the region. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Khamenei, declared that the U.S. decision is “a vicious move” that will not bear fruit, while the Commander of the IRGC, Ja'fari, threatened that if the U.S. dares to threaten Iran’s national security, Iran will act against U.S. forces in the region.
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Hezbollah’s Martyrs Foundation: purpose, mode of operation and funding methods

Hezbollah maintains an extensive network of social foundations in Lebanon that deal with health, education, welfare and media. Their main goal is to serve as a supportive framework for the organization’s military infrastructure, to disseminate its ideology and to strengthen its position among the Shiite community and the internal Lebanese political arena. Of these institutions, the Lebanese Martyrs Foundation is of key importance. It was established by Iran in 1982, the year in which Hezbollah was established.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 24, 2019 – April 7, 2019)

Syrian opposition sources reported that at least seven people were killed in the strike attributed to Israel in the Sheikh Najjar area in northwestern Aleppo city, on the night of March 27-28. Senior Iranian officials condemned the decision of President Trump to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and described it as a grave violation of international law. The Syrian government approved the agreement signed between the Syrian Electricity Ministry and the Iranian energy and infrastructure giant, MAPNA, to build a power plant in Lattakia. The Deputy Head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Salah al-Arouri, declared in a media interview that Hamas is determined to bolster ties with Iran, and that the practical implications of this improvement in relations is already evident on the ground.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 10 – March 24, 2019)

Last week, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces arrived for a visit in Syria to take part in a joint anti-terrorism summit attended by Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi officials. Syrian sources recently reported that following the visit of President Assad to Tehran, Iran and Syria agreed to form a Syrian team, headed by the executive director of the Lattakia Port, which will negotiate handing over management of the Lattakia Port or the container terminal within it to Iran. Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, conducted his first official visit in Baghdad, during which he met Iraqi government officials, public representatives and senior Shi’ite clerics.
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