Iran

Spotlight on Iran (February 7, 2021 – February 21, 2021)

The Senior Adviser to the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali-Asghan Khaji, met with the Syrian president and discussed with him developments in the country and the ongoing negotiations concerning the settlement of the war. The American Arabic TV channel al-Hurra reported, based on foreign intelligence sources, about the smuggling of heavy weaponry by the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) across the Syria-Iraq border. The Head of the Iranian Judiciary, Ibrahim Raisi, arrived for a visit in Iraq, lasting a number of days, during which the two countries signed three memoranda of understanding concerning cooperation in the legal sphere, prisoner exchanges and combatting corruption. The spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied any Iranian involvement in the rocket attack on the Erbil International Airport and its environs, which killed a contractor of the U.S. armed forces.
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Spotlight on Iran (January 24, 2021 – February 7, 2021)

Iranian and Syrian cargo planes continue to make frequent flights between Damascus and Tehran. In early February, the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs arrived for a visit in Tehran during which he met with senior Iranian officials, chief among them the president, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and the Iranian minister of foreign affairs. In late January, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Jeanine Antoinette Plasschaert, visited Tehran and met with senior Iranian officials, including the senior adviser on international affairs to the supreme leader of Iran, and the special adviser to the speaker of the Majlis.
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Spotlight on Iran (January 10, 2021 – January 24, 2021)

Senior Iranian officials avoided publicly commenting on the reports about Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) strikes on eastern Syria on the night between January 12th and 13th against targets linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the pro-Iranian militias. The former commander of the artillery force of the IRGC in Syria stated in an interview to Iranian TV that Iran’s involvement in Syria, which was intended to prevent the collapse of the Assad regime, started before ISIS began its entrenchment in Syria. The fourth conference of the joint Iranian-Iraqi economic committee was held in Tehran, in the presence of senior state officials, and public and private sector businessmen to discuss expanding the cooperation between the two countries in the energy, transportation, tourism, construction, water and electricity sectors.
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The events in Lebanon for the anniversary of the killing of Qassem Soleimani were exploited by Hezbollah for a propaganda campaign within the Shi’ite community to spread a message of solidarity with Iran and its policies

At the beginning of January 2021 Hezbollah held a series of events and ceremonies within the Shi'ite community in Lebanon to mark the anniversary of the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Qods Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandas, the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization in Iraq (January 2, 2020). Most of the ceremonies were held in south Lebanon (in the Shi'ite villages near the Israeli border). Some of them were held in the Dahiyeh, Beirut's Shi'ite southern suburb, and in the Beqa'a Valley.
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Spotlight on Iran (December 27, 2020 – January 10, 2021)

Over the past week, ceremonies to commemorate Qasem Soleimani were held in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Gaza. The anniversary of the killing of Soleimani, the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was used by Iran and its proxies to stress Iran’s support for the “resistance axis” and the central role Soleimani played in developing the military capabilities of Iran’s proxies in the region, particularly in enlarging and increasing the deadliness of their arsenals rockets and missiles.
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A Year after the Assassination of Soleimani: Iran Faces Many Challenges, But Determined to Cement its Regional Influence

Over the year that has passed since the assassination of the Commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, Iran faced growing challenges to its regional ambitions. The death of Soleimani, who was the central executioner of Iran’s efforts to increase its influence the Middle East, and raised question marks with regard to Iran’s ability to continue to entrench its hold over the region.
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