Situation Report Iran

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Iran Situation Report

Authors

Mehrdad Moarefian

Latest Edition

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For archived reports, please click here.

July 30, 2014 

Key takeaway: IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani issued a strong message reiterating the Supreme Leader’s support of Hamas’ militant wing and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, while praising their armed resistance; “Hail Al Qassam Brigades, Saraya Al Quds… and martyrs of al Aqsa. Hail leaders of the resistance who do not retreat in the face of pressure.” Lebanese Hezbollah sustains significant casualties in Syria and Iraq. 


Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani’s message reinforces the senior leadership’s unified support for expanding the resistance front; “Murderers and mercenaries must know that we will not back down an instant from supporting the resistance and defending the Palestinian people… All of the world must know that disarming the Resistance is a false belief and an imagination that will be unfulfilled.” 


Parliament Defense Committee Chairman and National Security and Foreign Policy Commission member Mohammad Esmail Kowsari said “Arming the West Bank is a strategic matter. It is important as a comprehensive policy that the Supreme Leader has determined and announced.” Kowsari is echoing the same messaging points made by senior officials and IRGC commanders, who believe that, given a substantial amount of support the Palestinians can sustain their resistance against Israel.


The death of six Lebanese Hezbollah fighters in Syria and a commander in Iraq reaffirm Iran’s commitment to multiple fronts, while raising questions about the IRGC’s capacity to stretch the resistance front. 


Iran’s foreign ministry announced the shipment of medical supplies to Egypt for Gaza as well as providing a list of injured Palestinians to be evacuated to Tehran. 

 

july 29, 2014

Key takeaway: Supreme Leader implores Islamic countries to unify efforts and to “use all of [their]capability to secure the needs of the Gazan people.” Iranian officials continue diplomatic outreach to garner regional support for Palestine, while a parliamentary commission forms a delegation to travel to Gaza.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei addressed senior officials at Ayatollah Khomeini’s shrine in Tehran to underline Palestine’s need for arms and an “appropriate reaction against the Zionist human-killing regime and its supporters.” President Rouhani reiterated Khamenei’s message of cooperation during his phone call to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al Thani.  


The National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission’s announcement of a Gaza delegation in addition to the Basij Organization’s preparation to deploy medical teams to Gaza reaffirms Iran’s commitment to the Resistance. 


IRGC Navy Commander Brigadier General Ali Fadavi highlighted the growth of Iran’s deterrence capabilities, attributing advancements to organizational flexibility; “Measures and tactics that are calculable and predictable do not cause fear among the enemy.”   

 

JUly 28, 2014

Key takeaway: Senior leaders tout Iran’s role in expanding regional Resistance, while Parliament Speaker dismisses IS operational capacity.

Former IRGC Quds Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi reiterated Khamenei’s strategy on arming the West Bank; “Arming the West Bank is the high strategy of the Supreme Leader which when applied will cause a difference in the scene of developments in Palestine.”       


Head of the Ammar Base (pro Khamenei think tank) Hojjat al Eslam Mehdi Taeb discussed strategies on arming the West Bank: “Introducing the matter of arming the West Bank at this time by the Supreme Leader is due to [his] complete awareness of global events. It shows that this matter is a rational solution and is possible.” IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami’s remarks about the Gaza conflict suggest a potential strategy to incorporate Lebanese Hezbollah missile fire, which- according to Salami- can “bombard all Israeli cities.” 


President Rouhani’s Iftar dinner with senior clergy and his recent dinner banquet with senior IRGC commanders underline his effort to maintain cooperative relationship with conservative hardliners. 


Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani’s phone call to Grand Ayatollah Sistani reaffirms Iran’s commitment to cooperating with Sistani in resolving the political and security issues of Iraq. 


Artesh Air Defense Base Commander Brigadier General Farzad Emaili said efforts are underway to bolster Iran’s air defense system by producing “several missiles and radar systems,” with an emphasis on defending the Western border region, signifying Iran’s commitment to repulsing IS threats from Iraq. 

 

July 25, 2014

Key takeaway: Senior IRGC commander and advisor to the Supreme Leader calls for comprehensive soft-war against Israel, while senior officials echo the regime’s unified pledge to support Palestinian resistance during nationwide Quds Day rally. Quds Force commander touts Soleimani’s “tremendous role in the region’s Islamic resistance and movements.”

Khamenei’s senior military advisor, IRGC Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi attributes America’s hegemonic decline to “failures” in Iraq and Afghanistan leading the U.S. to adopt soft-war strategies in order to exacerbate regional conflict; “Baathist-takfiri terrorists have come to confront and fight Islamic nations and countries to represent America and the Zionist regime in the name of Islam.” Safavi is reiterating the senior leadership’s messaging point on soft warfare, while urging the regime to apply innovative methods; “It appears that a cyber-war must be operationalized towards the liberation of noble Quds and attack the essential interests of the Zionists in the virtual space.”

IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani’s Senior Advisor Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi identifies Baghdad as a vital strategic bridge to the Resistance and Hezbollah, while saying, “Hezbollah today is manufacturing its own weaponry. Perhaps there will be no need for us to provide them with logistics and equipment.”

Khamenei’s Representative in the IRGC Hojjat al Eslam Ali Saidi pointed two crucial tasks in the fight against the U.S.: “The first [task] is preventing secularized and mutilated Turkish Islam and confront Saudi extremist Islam. The second is spreading the culture of the Basij among Muslim states.”

IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami’s speech reaffirms Iran’s long-term commitment to expanding the Resistance front: “Islamic movements were armed and missiles were stockpiled. Today you see how the weapons of the Resistance in a corner of the Islamic world have been able to manage the tragic story of the Zionist regime’s savage attacks against the oppressed and defenseless Palestinian nation in Gaza…Palestine will never be calm.” Former IRGC commander Esmail Kowsari reiterated Khamenei’s call to arm the West Bank to proliferate the Resistance movement.

Deputy to the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei claimed that Israel is incapable of sustaining the fight pointing to Resistance capabilities in identifying Israeli inefficiencies.

 

July 24, 2014

Key takeaway: Senior officials and IRGC commanders echo the Supreme Leader’s call for the expansion of an armed Palestinian resistance.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s speech underlined the regime’s intent to expand the resistance; “We believe that the West Bank must be armed like Gaza.”

Khamenei’s message was reiterated in an open letter by former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei to the commander of Hamas’ armed military wing al Qassam Brigades, which reads in part: “Your fight continues and your needed arms and ammunition will reach you even if they come from underneath a rock.” Senior officials also heightened anti-Zionist rhetoric in proclaiming Iran’s support of Gaza, while criticizing regional countries that remain silent on the Palestinian issue.  

 

July 23, 2014 

Key takeaway: Ahead of the annual international Quds Day rally several former and present senior IRGC commanders signed an open letter titled “Million March from Karbala to Jerusalem.” 


Iranian forces and proxy elements continue to be spotted in Kurdish territory; according to a security official from Daquq, “approximately 200 Iranian [Shi’a militiamen],” left Kirkuk today. 


Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani’s meeting with the head of the Syrian parliament signifies Iran’s commitment to multiple fronts of the Resistance campaign. Iraqi officials said Shamkhani was accompanied by “intelligence, security, foreign affairs, and [IRGC] representatives,” during his visit to Baghdad and Najaf last week. 


Iranian officials continue their diplomatic outreach in an effort to gain popular support for the Palestinians. 


Foreign ministry confirmed receipt of the final tranche of frozen funds per the Joint Plan of Action. 

 

July 21, 2014

Key takeaway: Iranian forces continue to be spotted in Kurdish territory. Reports claim downed Iranian jet was conducting airstrikes in Iraq. Iran demands $2.8 billion of frozen assets during the next four months of nuclear talks.

The two Air Force pilots that crashed in Iran’s Fars Province were reportedly returning from Diyala and Salah ad Din.

Recent uptick in Lebanese Hezbollah deaths in Syria reaffirms Iran’s commitment to mobilizing proxies in multiple fronts.

Supreme Leader’s foreign policy advisor underlines Iran’s close strategic relations with China and Russia. IRGC commander touts Iranian deterrence capability, while senior officials and IRGC commanders continue to assert that the U.S. and its allies are behind regional crises.

Iranian media outlet issues stern warning to KRG Head Massoud Barzani; “Other events will certainly occur if they have territorial demands, separatists must certainly know that a fate worse than suffocation awaits them.”

 

July 18, 2014

Key takeaway: Iran and the P5+1 agree to extend nuclear talks until late November. Iran appears to be backing Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki against efforts to replace him.

Supreme National Security Council Secretary and former IRGC commander Ali Shamkhani met with Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki in Baghdad to discuss potential presidential candidates for upcoming elections. Shamkhani also traveled to Najaf to meet with Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani and the senior Shi’a clergy.  Ayatollah Sistani had reportedly issued an ultimatum to Maliki to abandon his quest for a third term as Prime Minister.

National Security and Foreign Policy Parliamentary Commission Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi compares the current doubt facing Prime Minister Maliki to what senior Iranian officials voiced against Syria’s Bashar al Assad; “In political decision making doubt is the most dangerous pest. It was the system’s determination for Assad to stay and for Obama and the rest of his European allies to leave.” 

Shi’a militia commanders claim that IRGC Qods Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani is accompanied by 120 IRGC advisors and frequently stays in Samarra “[basing] himself in the Al Askari shrine…even sleeping in its basement as he coordinates the city's defense.” Comments made by Wahab al Taei a senior commander of Asaib Alh al Haq reaffirms Lebanese Hezbollah’s advisory role in Iraq.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani’s phone call to Hamas Political Secretary Khaled Meshaal and Palestinian Islamic Movement Secretary-General Ramezan Abdullah underlines Iran’s commitment to the resistance front.

 

July 17, 2014

Key takeaway:  Former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei touts America’s hegemonic decline; “America showed a sort of unprecedented weakness in its serial defeats in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Syria.”

The death of five Lebanese Hezbollah (LH) members in Syria reaffirms Iran’s joint effort with LH and continued deployment of proxy elements to multiple fronts.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei portrays the Saudis, IS, and Israel as the main instigators of the Palestinian crisis. President Hassan Rouhani reaches out to the King of Bahrain as well as other Islamic heads of state to call for a unified stance against Israeli attacks against Gaza.

 

JULY 16, 2014

Key takeaway: Iran appears increasingly confident that nuclear talks will be extended while it continues to mobilize proxies and enhance its border security as part of its military campaign in Iraq.


Iranian security official meets Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani to discuss security cooperation; PUK announces that a small delegation will travel to Tehran. Following the meeting Iran announced the deployment of a large number of security forces to northwestern border region while mobilizing Lebanese Hezbollah to train and assist Iran’s partners in conducting military operations in Iraq. 


Senior officials and IRGC commanders continue to assert that the U.S. and its allies are the main source for regional crises. 


Khamenei’s senior advisor remains confident in the nuclear negotiation team’s ability to resist pressure. Several unnamed Iranian officials believe the nuclear talks will be extended beyond the July 20th deadline for a comprehensive deal. 

 

JULY 15, 2014

Key takeaway: Iran will seek to have the interim nuclear agreement extended while continuing military operations in Iraq and seeking to forestall or mitigate a declaration of independence by Iraqi Kurdish leaders.

Social media continues to report the presence of hundreds of IRGC forces in Samarra, Iraq (unconfirmed).  Multiple credible Iranian sources have previously confirmed the death of an IRGC Colonel in Samarra.

Tensions along the border between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan remain high, although Iran re-opened several crossings. An Iranian parliamentarian from West Azerbaijan (a border province) threatened Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani if he sought to incorporate Iran’s Kurds into Iraqi Kurdistan. 
An IRGC provincial commander echoed recent rhetoric of Iran’s senior leaders blaming the U.S. and Israel for crises in Iraq and Syria. 


Iran’s foreign minister indicated that Tehran will seek an extension to the July 20 deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

The Commander of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization mentioned possibly evolving doctrinal concepts, including “skeletal defense” and “people-centric defense.”

Iranian media reports that a delegation will visit Gaza to provide aid and donations.