Analysis & Commentary


16th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

Iran shuts down news site after reporting Taliban emir held talks with officials

Bill Roggio, Amir Toumaj

Iranian authorities shuttered a news website after it claimed that the Taliban’s previous emir was inside Iran for two months and strategized with officials to counter the Islamic State.

16th June 2016 - Foreign Policy

The Obama Administration Needs to Stand Strong on Iran Sanctions

Mark Dubowitz, Annie Fixler

Iran's demands are escalating. The supreme leader is sounding the alarm about American mendacity. An anxious U.S. secretary of state is practically begging companies to return to Iran. Cautious banking executives and a distrustful and angry Congress are pushing back. Welcome to the fallout...

14th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

IRGC officer college mourns comrade killed in Syria

Amir Toumaj

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its allies, particularly Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba, have been heavily engaged in combat against Jaish al Fath and Jabhat al Nusra (al-Qaeda’s Syria branch) in southern Aleppo in the past two weeks, with the IRGC losing at least 13 men...

14th June 2016 - Quoted by Rick Gladstone - The New York Times

Iran Said to Have Deal With Boeing to Buy Passenger Planes

Mark Dubowitz

Iran has reached an agreement with the Boeing Company for the acquisition of new passenger planes to help modernize its outdated fleet, state-run Iranian news media reported on Tuesday.

7th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

Qods Force commander an official advisor to government, Iraq’s foreign minister says

Bill Roggio, Amir Toumaj

Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Qods Force, serves as an official advisor to the Iraqi government, the foreign minister confirmed yesterday. Soleimani and Qods Force have provided advice and support for the Popular Mobilization Forces and its component militias.

7th June 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

WATCH: In Latest Sign of Expanding Influence, Iranian IRGC Soldier Embeds with Iraqi Troops

Footage has emerged on Twitter of an Iranian soldier from the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) embedded among Iraqi troops, the latest indication of direct Iranian involvement in its neighboring country’s internal affairs.

3rd June 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Supreme Leader’s Confidant Is Re-elected Parliament Speaker

Amir Toumaj

Iran’s parliament re-elected Ali Larijani as parliamentary speaker on Tuesday. Larijani, who has held the post since 2008, is a long-time regime insider who has risen through the Islamic Republic’s ranks thanks to his proven loyalty to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

26th May 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Experts at Senate Hearing: White House Must Increase Pressure on Iran to Stop its Malign Behavior

Mark Dubowitz

Sanctions and national security experts urged the United States to reject Iran’s demands for further economic concessions and ramp up pressure on Tehran in response to its regional aggression during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday.

25th May 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

A Hardliner’s Hardliner Wins Assembly of Experts Chair

Amir Toumaj

The Assembly of Experts, the body charged with choosing Iran’s supreme leader, selected one of the Islamic Republic’s most hardline, anti-Western clerics as chairman on Tuesday. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, 89, has a reputation for blistering denunciations of America, of Iranian reformists,...

25th May 2016 - The National Interest

Iran and Hezbollah Avoid Blaming Israel for Terrorist Commander’s Death

David Daoud, Amir Toumaj

Mustafa Badreddine, the head of Hezbollah’s military operations in Syria, was recently killed in an explosion near Damascus International Airport.

11th May 2016 - The Long War Journal

IRGC, allies sustained significant losses in battle for Khan Touman

Amir Toumaj

On May 6, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) lost the Syrian village of Khan Touman, strategically located near the Aleppo-Damascus highway southwest of Aleppo, to Jaysh al Fath, a jihadist-led alliance of rebel groups. Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s Syria branch, and other jihadi...

5th May 2016 - Quoted by Mark Hay - VICE

Iran Is Offering Citizenship to Families of Migrants Who Died Fighting Iran’s Battles

Amir Toumaj

On Monday, the Islamic Republic News Agency—Iran's official press outlet—reported that the nation's parliament had passed a law allowing the state to grant citizenship to the children, parents, and wives of foreigners killed while fighting for Iran.

2nd May 2016 - The National Interest

Iran: Former IRGC Commander Reveals Its Meddling in Elections

Amir Toumaj

Mansour Haghighatpour, an Iranian parliamentarian and former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander, told a reformist-leaning newspaper last month that the IRGC had tried to leverage its political and financial influence to prevent his reelection in parliamentary elections two...

16th April 2016 - Quoted by Alex Rowell - NOW Lebanon

Iranian boots on the ground

Amir Toumaj

The first deployment of foreign regular army ground troops to the front lines of the five-year-long battle between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad came with rather less fanfare and controversy than might have been expected.

5th April 2016 - Quoted by Deb Riechmann - Associated Press

US Says Iran Forces Pulling Back in Syria; Others Say No

Tony Badran

The Obama administration is making the case that Iran is drawing down its elite fighting force from Syria in an effort to allay fears that Tehran is using its powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria to strengthen its influence across the Middle East. Yet the Iranian government...

28th March 2016 - Quoted by Tolga Tanis - Hurriyet Daily News

Zarrab connections

Let’s not talk about the unknown. Did Reza Zarrab, a Turkish businessman of Iranian origin, go to the U.S. knowing he would be arrested?

25th March 2016 - The Long War Journal

Iran deploys Army Special Forces to Syria and Iraq

Amir Toumaj

A senior commander in Iran’s Army told reporters Wednesday that Special Forces would be deployed as “advisors” to Syria and Iraq.

11th March 2016 - The National Interest

America Risks Another Flawed Deal with Iran

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iran’s ongoing ballistic missile drills continue to present a problem without an effective solution. Specifically, last month, three former U.S. government officials called in the National Interest for a plan linking “pressure and diplomacy” to address Iran’s missile program.

9th March 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

IRGC’s Latest Ballistic Missile Test Underscores Need for Sanctions

Amir Toumaj

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) held a series of ballistic missiles drills over the last few days, launching next-generation short-, medium-, and long-range missiles from silos and missile bases built underground and in mountains.

4th March 2016 - The Weekly Standard

Iran’s Make-Believe Moderates

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Barack Obama and his tireless secretary of state sold the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in part as a means to reinforce Iranian “reformers," "moderates," and "pragmatists." They were always quick to add that the atomic accord stood on its own technical merits. Yet the non-nuclear...

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