Iran

Spotlight on Iran (February 17, 2022 – March 3, 2022)

In late February, the Syrian National Security Adviser, Ali Mamlouk, visited Tehran and met with the Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Council, Ali Shamkhani. The Iranian minister of foreign affairs met with his Iraqi colleague on the sidelines of the Munich International Security Conference and discussed political developments in Iraq, as well as the possibility of restarting the dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia, mediated by Iraq. Representatives of Iraq, Iran, Russia and Syria took part in a meeting of the joint center for counter-terrorism intelligence exchange in Baghdad and discussed security developments along the Iraqi-Syrian border. The former Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad al-Allawi, opined in an interview to a Turkish news agency that since the outbreak of popular protests in Iraq in October 2019, during which protesters chanted against Iranian meddling in Iraq, Iranian influence in the country has diminished.
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Spotlight on Iran (February 3, 2022 – February 17, 2022)

Ceremonies marking the 43rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution were held in Syria and Iraq, at the initiative of the Iranian embassies and consulates in Damascus, Baghdad and Erbil. The head of the Joint Iranian-Syrian Chamber of Commerce reported that the volume of trade between the two countries in the first nine months of the current Iranian year (March 2021 – January 2022) has risen by 90 percent, compared to the same period in the year prior. The Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Esmail Qa’ani, made a third visit to Iraq in the span of one month, against the backdrop of the ongoing government formation negotiations in Iraq. Iranian pilgrims to Syrian and Iraq: The Syrian ambassador to Tehran met with the representative of the supreme leader of Iran on Hajj and pilgrimage affairs, and congratulated him for increasing the number of Iranian pilgrims visiting Syria.
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Spotlight on Iran (January 20, 2022 – February 3, 2022)

A senior member of the Iranian Majlis stated Iran’s willingness to construct over 500,000 housing units in Syria per year. The Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Esmail Qa’ani, paid yet another visit to Iraq in late January. Tehran’s decision to again restrict the flow of gas to Iraq due to the debts Iraq accrued to Iran has raised widespread anger in Iraq. Iran granted a permission for transferring diesel to Afghanistan through its territory for a period of three months.
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Spotlight on Iran (January 6, 2022 – January 20, 2022)

On January 12, the Iranian minister of transportation arrived for a three-day visit to Syria, during which he met senior regime officials, chief among them President Assad, and discussed expanding trade and economic ties between the two countries. In recent days, the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Esmail Qa’ani, visited Iraq and met with the heads of Iraqi parliamentary blocs. An Iranian economic delegation led by the chairman of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce arrived for a visit in Iraq to discuss expanding cooperation between the two countries in the spheres of trade, industry, mining and agriculture. The security adviser to the Iranian supreme leader and Iranian media outlets expressed support for the strikes carried out by the Houthi rebels in Yemen on the night of January 17 against the United Arab Emirates.
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Spotlight on Iran (December 23, 2021 – January 6, 2022)

Iran condemned the strikes on the Lattakia Port in Syria, carried out on December 28, allegedly by Israel. On January 2, Iranian citizens were allowed to resume pilgrimage trips to Syria. Such visits were halted almost two years ago due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In an interview to the Lebanese news website al-Ahed, the Iranian ambassador to Syria stated that relations between Iran and Syria are currently focused on economic cooperation to a greater extent than before. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, declared that the blood of Qasem Soleimani forced the American forces to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq and bolstered the “resistance front” in the region. In late December, the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs arrived for a visit to Tehran during which he met senior Iranian government officials and discussed bilateral ties, developments in the region and the nuclear deal talks in Vienna.
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Spotlight on Iran (December 9, 2021 – December 23, 2021)

Syrian pro-opposition sources reported that Iran deployed new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the T-4 Air Base of the Syrian Army in eastern Homs and began operating them in reconnaissance missions as part of the campaign led by Iranian-backed forces in the Badia desert. The Iranian deputy president met with the Syrian ambassador to Tehran and discussed bilateral ties and developments in the region. The Iranian Ambassador to Yemen, Hasan Irloo, has died of COVID-19. The spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the visit of the Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennet, to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), declaring that the visit destabilizes the security of the region and is contrary to the interests of the Muslim world and Arab countries.
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