Iran

Unusual Admission by Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Officer: Iran Was Involved in a Houthi Missile Attack on Saudi Oil Tankers

On August 7, 2018, the Iranian Fars News Agency published an interview with a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander, Nasser Shabani. During the interview, Shabani stated that Iran ordered the Houthi rebels in Yemen to target the two Saudi oil tankers in the Bab al-Mandeb Straits on July 25, 2018. “We told the Yemenis to hit the two Saudi tankers and they did,” Shabani was quoted as saying.
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Spotlight on Iran (August 5 – August 19, 2018)

The future of cooperation between Syria and Iran following the settlement of the Syrian war: the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces spoke on the phone with the Syrian Minister of Defense who invited the Iranian for a visit in Damascus. The statement made by Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, confirming that his country intends to abide by the renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran, aroused an outcry in Tehran and among some in the Iraqi political arena.
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Iranian support for Palestinian terrorism: Continuation of Iranian fund transfers to shaheeds’ families in the Gaza Strip by PIJ-affiliated Al-Ansar charity association

The Al-Ansar charity association in the Gaza Strip, which is affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), announced that it had distributed this year financial support for families of shaheeds killed in the years 2000-2014. A total of $1,870,000 was distributed this year (compared to $2 million in 2017).
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Spotlight on Iran (July 22 – August 5, 2018)

As tensions mount between Iran and the United States, the Commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, warned the United States against launching military action on Iran. The Iranian news agency Tasnim published a video documenting the capture of the town of Albu Kamal in Syria by the fighters of the Fatemiyoun Brigade, the Afghan militia operating under IRGC guidance in Syria. Iran, Russia and Turkey continue to hold deliberations concerning the settlement of the war in Syria. In an interview to Israeli media, the Russian ambassador to Israel stated that Russia can not force Iran to withdraw from Syria, but only try to convince it to do so.
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Spotlight on Iran (July 8 – July 22, 2018)

Ahead of the summit between the American and Russian presidents in HelsinkiIranian officials continued to emphasize that Iran does not intend to withdraw its forces from Syria. Iran is closely monitoring the wave of protests that erupted in southern Iraq, during which protesters chanted against Iran and its meddling in internal Iraqi affairs. The Commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, was supposed to deliver a pre-recorded speech on July 16 to a Palestinian crowd at a conference in Gaza.
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Increasing Iranian control of the Albukamal border crossing area – part of Iran’s strategy of establishing an overland supply route connecting Iran with Iraq, Syria and Lebanon (in collaboration with ImageSat International – ISI)

In recent months, Iran has increased its control in the area of the Albukamal border crossing between Syria and Iraq by Shiite forces affiliated with it. Iran attaches major strategic importance to this crossing since the overland supply route leading to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon passes through it (the “Land Corridor”). It seems that during recent months, vehicle traffic through the Albukamal area has begun, but it is not yet at full capacity.
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