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.

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.