Iran

Spotlight on Iran (November 15, 2020 – November 29, 2020)

Senior Iranian officials have avoided publicly commenting on the statement of the IDF spokesperson about Israeli strikes on targets of the Syrian Army and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) after explosive devices were discovered in two locations on the Syrian-Israeli border on the Golan Heights. The Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Zarif and the special adviser to the speaker of the Majlis met in Tehran with the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen. In mid-November, the Iraqi minister of defense visited Tehran and met senior Iranian officials, including the minister of defense, the chief of staff of the Armed Forces, the commander of the IRGC and the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.
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Spotlight on Iran (November 1, 2020 – November 15, 2020)

The Senior Adviser to the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali-Asghar Khaji visited Damascus and met with President Assad and discussed the ongoing negotiations process concerning the settlement of the war in Syria, regional developments and bilateral relations. The Iranian deputy minister of defense visited Baghdad at the helm of a delegation made up of senior military and security officials, and met with high-ranking Iraqi officials, chief among them the national security adviser and the Iraqi minister of interior. Growing Iranian concerns about efforts to stymie its economic activity in Syria and Iraq. Iranian media outlets reported that the agreement, reached during the visit to Iraq of the governor of the Iranian Central Bank concerning the release of Iranian funds frozen in Iraqi banks, is gradually being implemented.
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The Intelligence Organization of the IRGC: A Major Iranian Intelligence Apparatus

The Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has become a major intelligence apparatus of the Islamic Republic, having increased its influence and broadened its authorities. Iran’s intelligence apparatus, similar to other control and governance apparatuses in the Islamic Republic, is characterized by power plays, rivalries and redundancy. The Intelligence Organization of the IRGC, which answers to the supreme leader, operates alongside the Ministry of Intelligence, which was established in 1984 and answers to the president.
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Spotlight on Iran (October 18, 2020 – November 1, 2020)

The new Iranian trade center was officially inaugurated in Damascus. The Representative of the Iranian Supreme Leader to Syria, Abolfazl Tabatabaei Ashkezari, completed his tenure in Syria and was replaced by Hamid Saffar Harandi. The U.S. Treasury Department announced the imposition of sanctions on the Iranian Ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi. In late October, the secretary general of the Iraqi Shia pro-Iranian militia, Harakat al-Nujabaa’, visited Tehran and met with senior Iranian officials. Iran appointed - for the first time after five years - Hassan Eyrolou, its new ambassador to Yemen.
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Spotlight on Iran (October 1, 2020 – October 18, 2020 )

Negotiations are continuing apace between Iran and Russia concerning the war in Syria: following the visit of the Iranian minister of foreign affairs to Moscow in late September, the Iranian ambassador met with the Russian deputy foreign minister and discussed developments in Syria. The bodies of eight fighters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who were killed in the vicinity of the town of Khan Touman southwest of Aleppo city, were identified as part of ongoing efforts of the IRGC in Syria to identify the location of dozens of Iranian fighters who have gone missing in action during the Syrian civil war. Media sources in Iraq reported that the Commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, Esmail Qa’ani, arrived for a visit in Baghdad and met with senior commanders of the Shia militias, as part of ongoing discussions between the Iraqi government, the Shia militias and the Iranian regime.
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Bahrain as an Arena for Iran Subversion and Terrorism

Iran has been a permanent threat to the stability of the Bahraini regime since the country declared independence. Iran's fundamental antagonism is based on a combination of geopolitics, history and the Iranian regime's regional interests: Bahrain is located in the heart of the Persian Gulf, where Iran seeks hegemony; the American army's largest naval base in the Persian Gulf is in Manama, the capital of Bahrain (where the Fifth Fleet is anchored); and Bahrain's internal politics are based on a Sunni minority ruling a Shi'ite majority which mostly has an Iranian orientation.
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