Legacy Articles On Iran

2024-01-03 Iran Announces Integration Of Artificial Intelligence Into Drone Fleet (Michael Rubin)
2024-01-03 Iran Equips Drones With Heat-Seeking Missiles (Michael Rubin)
2024-01-03 Iran Demands Disarmament Of Kurdish Dissidents In Iraq (Michael Rubin)

2023-11-08 Iran Promoting Medical Tourism To Generate Hard Currency (Michael Rubin)
2023-11-08 Iran’s Supreme Leader Accuses West of Ukraine War Conspiracy (Michael Rubin)

2023-10-03 Iran Claims Development of Cruise Missiles Guided by Artificial Intelligence (Michael Rubin)
2023-10-03 Requirements for Desirable Iranian Oil Ministry Jobs Revealed (Michael Rubin)
2023-10-03 Iran’s Supreme Leader Warns of Declining Fervor of New Generation (Michael Rubin)

2023-08-25 Iran Claims New Flight Simulator Will Enhance National Power (Michael Rubin)
2023-08-25 Iran’s Simorgh Transport Plane Makes Maiden Flight (Michael Rubin)
2023-08-25 Iran Indicates Plans To Commercialize Nuclear Technology, Sell Heavy Water (Michael Rubin)
2023-08-25 Iran’s Persistent and Growing Influence in Latin America (Ryan Berg)

2023-06-01 Iran Unveils New Thermobaric Warhead (Michael Rubin)
2023-06-01 Iran Opens New Helicopter, Drone Base in Southeastern Provincial Capital (Michael Rubin)
2023-06-01 Iran Ready To Help Syria Rebuild Its Defense Infrastructure (Michael Rubin)

2023-05-01 Iran Installs New Precision Missiles on Army Helicopters (Michael Rubin)
2023-05-01 Iran Seeks To Reestablish Embassy and Consulate in Saudi Arabia Before Hajj (Michael Rubin)
2023-05-01 Iran Considers Rapprochement With Pakistan (Michael Rubin)

2023-04-01 Iran Unveils Updated Yasin Training Jet With Possible Close Combat Applications (Michael Rubin)
2023-04-01 Iran’s Increased Defense Budget Leading to More Arms Exports (Michael Rubin)
2023-04-01 Iran Capitalizing on Post-Earthquake Conditions To Deepen Influence in Syria (Lucas Winter)

2023-03-01 Iran Praises Revolutionary Guards’ Proxy Afghan Brigade (Michael Rubin)
2023-03-01 Iran Profiles the Female Police Seeking To Quell the Women’s Protests (Michael Rubin)

2023-02-01 Iran Moves Sea-Borne Drone Fleet Closer to Reality (Michael Rubin)
2023-02-01 Iranian General Reiterates Goal To Expel United States From Region (Michael Rubin)
2023-02-01 Iran Fires Indigenous Torpedoes From Submarines for First Time (Michael Rubin)

2023-01-01 Iran Asks Tajikistan Not To Use Iranian Drones in Dispute With Kyrgyzstan (Michael Rubin)
2023-01-01 Iran Claim of Hypersonic Missile Capability Probably Exaggerated (Michael Rubin)

2022-11-01 Iran Vaunts Persian Language as Marker of National Identity Despite Country’s Ethnic Diversity (Michael Rubin)
2022-11-01 Iran’s Proposal To Build Railroads and Housing in Syria Could Enrich IRGC (Michael Rubin)
2022-11-01 Iran Lauds Air Defense, Claims Sepehr Radar Will Soon Be Operational (Michael Rubin)

2022-10-01 Iran Wants Sukhoi-35 Fighters From Russia (Michael Rubin)
2022-10-01 Iran Intercepts Crystal Meth Shipment From Afghanistan (Michael Rubin)

2022-09-01 Iran Reportedly Using New Carrier, Submarines To Expand Reach of Drones (Michael Rubin)
2022-09-01 Iran Unveils Stealth Speedboats (Michael Rubin)
2022-09-01 Iran’s Flawed Statistics and Growing Drug Addiction (Michael Rubin)

2022-08-01 Iranian F-14 Crash Highlights Iran’s Need for New Fighter Contract (Michael Rubin)
2022-08-01 Iranian Trade With China Is Up, but So Is Political Risk (Michael Rubin)
2022-08-01 Iran’s Revolutionary Guards To Expand Drug Treatment Center (Michael Rubin)
2022-08-01 Iran Believes Turkey’s Rapprochement With Israel and Saudi Arabia Is a Threat (Ihsan Gunduz)

2022-07-01 Iran Unveils New Drone-Fired Cruise Missile (Michael Rubin)
2022-07-01 Iran Opens New Drone Plant in Tajikistan (Michael Rubin)
2022-07-01 Iran Warns UAE Against Allowing Israel in the Persian Gulf (Michael Rubin)

2022-06-01 Khamenei Speaks on Necessity of Palestinian “Resistance” (Michael Rubin)
2022-06-01 Iran Initiates and Defends New Bread Subsidies Amid Deteriorating Economy (Michael Rubin)
2022-06-01 Iran Seeks To Counter Misinformation Circulating on Social Media (Michael Rubin)

2022-05-01 Iran Digs into Central Syria, Filling Vacuum Left by Russia (Lucas Winter)
2022-05-01 Iran Tries To Justify Abstention in UN Vote Condemning Russian Invasion of Ukraine (Michael Rubin)
2022-05-01 Iranian Navy Joins Indian Naval Exercises (Michael Rubin)
2022-05-01 Iran’s New Damavand Destroyer Set To Join Navy (Michael Rubin)

2022-04-01 Iran: Emphasizing Religiosity in Regular Army Promotions (Michael Rubin)
2022-04-01 Iran Uses Online War Games To Teach Younger Generation of Officers (Michael Rubin)
2022-04-01 Iran’s Supreme Leader Condemns Alleged Corruption of the West (Michael Rubin)
2022-04-01 Iran Repositions Its Proxies in Syria as Russia Turns Focus to Ukraine (Lucas Winter)

2022-03-01 Iranian Authorities Arrest Alleged Deputy Leader of Royalist Terrorist Group (Michael Rubin)
2022-03-01 Iran’s Prosecution of Arab Separatist Highlights Supposed Saudi Ties (Michael Rubin)
2022-03-01 Russia and China To Help Iran Build New Airports (Michael Rubin)

2022-02-01 Iran and Syria Discuss Transportation Cooperation (Michael Rubin)
2022-02-01 Iran’s Purported Counter-Hijacking Record (Michael Rubin)
2022-02-01 Iran Busts Weapons and Ammunition Smuggling Ring (Michael Rubin)

2022-01-01 Iran-Pakistan Bolstering Naval Cooperation (Michael Rubin)
2022-01-01 Iran Agrees To Gas Swap with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan (Michael Rubin)
2022-01-01 Iran and Syria Seek To Jumpstart Economic Ties (Michael Rubin)

2021-04-01 IRAN Unveils New Baman Radar System (Michael Rubin)
2020-10-01 Iran Stockpiling Supplies through Chahbahar (Michael Rubin)

2020-09-01 More Iran in Venezuela (Geoff Demarest)
2020-09-01 Iran Increases Range of Smart Bombs (Michael Rubin)
2020-09-01 Iran: Passive Defense Organization and Basij Sign Memorandum of Understanding (Michael Rubin)
2020-09-01 Iran: Khamenei Speaks on Sanctions, Enmity toward America, and Nuclear Power (Michael Rubin)

2020-08-01 Iran: Khamenei Speaks on Corruption (Michael Rubin)
2020-08-01 Iran: What’s Behind the Government’s Secrecy on Handing Over Kish Island to Chinese? (Michael Rubin)
2020-08-01 Iran Eager to Enter the Global Market as a Military Equipment Exporter (Jerrilee Plude)
2020-08-01 China and Iran Announce $400 Billion Trade Deal (Peter Wood)

2020-07-01 Russian Arms Sales to Iran? (Ray Finch)
2020-07-01 An Afghan Perspective: A New Phase in Afghanistan-Iran Relations (Michael Rubin)
2020-07-01 More Iran in Venezuela (Geoff Demarest)
2020-07-01 The Three Main Missions of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Michael Rubin)

2020-06-01 Iran: Prosecute Cybercriminals (Michael Rubin)
2020-06-01 Iran Improves its UAV Technology (Robert Bunker and Alma Keshvarz)

2020-05-01 Iran: Khamenei on Power and Patience (Michael Rubin)
2020-05-01 Iran Unveils Ghadir Submarine Upgrades (Michael Rubin)
2020-05-01 India Evacuates its Citizens from Iran (Michael Rubin)
2020-05-01 Iran Announces Mass Production of COVID-19 Test Kits (Jerrilee Plude)

2020-04-01 Israel Establishes New ‘Strategy and Iran Directorate’ Under General Staff (Zachary Fesen)
2020-04-01 Iran: Sanctions Don’t Impact Military Spending (Michael Rubin)
2020-04-01 Iran: IRGC Establishes Biological Defense Headquarters (Michael Rubin)

2020-03-01 Counterfeit Bank Notes Seized in Iran (Michael Rubin)
2020-03-01 Iran-Increasing Domestic Production of Rare Earth Elements (Michael Rubin)
2020-02-01 Iran to Send Astronaut into Space? (Michael Rubin)

2020-01-01 Iran: Identity Theft and Extortion in Isfahan (Michael Rubin)
2020-01-01 Iran and Russia to Establish Visa Waivers (Michael Rubin)
2020-01-01 Iran: Use Suicide Drones as Air Defense (Michael Rubin)
2020-01-01 Iran, China, and Russia Plan Joint Naval Drills in Indian Ocean (Zachary Fesen)

2019-12-01 Iran- Khamenei Speaks on America (Michael Rubin)
2019-12-01 Iran Establishes Official VPN Operators (Michael Rubin)

2019-11-01 Iran and Turkey- Friend or Foe (Ihsan Gunduz)
2019-11-01 Iran Opens Persian Gulf Air Defense Command Center (Michael Rubin)
2019-11-01 Iran- Mobile Rocket Systems and Underground Tunnels (Michael Rubin)
2019-11-01 Iran Announces Dome Defense against Drones (Michael Rubin)

2019-10-01 Iran- Khamenei Speaks on Kashmir (Michael Rubin)
2019-10-01 Iran- Armed Forces Ready to Take Over National Intranet Project (Michael Rubin)
2019-10-01 Israel- Iran’s Military Entrenchment in Iraq Poses Threat (Karen Kaya)

2019-09-01 Iran Warns of Phone and Text Scams (Michael Rubin)
2019-09-01 Iran – Mohajer-6 UAV Strikes Targets in Iraq (Michael Rubin)
2019-09-01 Iran’s Negotiations with Domestic Kurdish Opposition Groups (Ihsan Gunduz)
2019-08-01 Iran: Optoelectronic Military Developments (Michael Rubin)

2019-07-01 Iran: Progress on National Intranet (Michael Rubin)
2019-07-01 Iran: Nationwide Curriculum for Computer Programming (Michael Rubin)
2019-07-01 Iran: Preparing for Zafar III Satellite Launch (Michael Rubin)
2019-07-01 Iran: Admiral Fadavi Selected as Revolutionary Guards Deputy (Michael Rubin)
2019-06-01 The Dynamics of Trilateral Relations between Turkey, Russia, and Iran (Ihsan Gunduz)

2019-05-01 Iran Cements its Presence in Syria (Lucas Winter)
2019-05-01 Iran: Khamenei Threatens to Use Precision Missiles (Michael Rubin)
2019-05-01 Iran Conducts its Largest UAV Exercise (Michael Rubin)

2019-04-01 Iran: Hovercraft successfully fires cruise missiles (Michael Rubin)
2019-04-01 Iran Diverting Money from Development to Military (Michael Rubin)
2019-03-01 Iran Builds Up Syrian Proxies on the Western Banks of the Euphrates (Lucas Winter)
2019-02-01 IRGC: Iran Can Extend Ballistic Missile Range (Michael Rubin)

2019-01-01 Iran’s Basij in Cyberspace (Michael Rubin)
2019-01-01 Iran Unveils JDAMs? (Michael Rubin)
2019-01-01 China, Russia and Iran Seek to Revive Syrian Railways (Lucas Winter)

2018-11-01 Iran to Build New Missile System? (Michael Rubin)
2018-11-01 Supreme Leader’s Advisor- United States Common Enemy of Iran and China (Michael Rubin)
2018-09-01 Will Iran Pivot to the East (Michael Rubin)
2018-09-01 Iran: IAEA Shouldn’t Inspect Universities (Michael Rubin)
2018-09-01 Russia and Iran Hamper Turkey’s Aspirations to Become Energy Hub (Ihsan Gunduz)

2018-08-01 Questions on Shortfalls in Electricity Generation in Iran (Michael Rubin)
2018-08-01 Achieving Gasoline Self-Sufficiency in Iran (Michael Rubin)
2018-08-01 Visit of Chinese Military Delegation to Iran (Michael Rubin)
2018-08-01 Iran to Re-Launch “Helicopter Carrier” (Michael Rubin)
2018-08-01 Iran Preparing to Host Nanotechnology Festival (Michael Rubin)
2018-08-01 Iran to Launch New Satellite by Year’s End (Michael Rubin)

2018-07-01 Group Planning to Hack Bank in Iran Arrested (Michael Rubin)
2018-07-01 Who Took $30 Billion out of Iran? (Michael Rubin)
2018-07-01 Iran to Attend Russian Military Trade Show (Michael Rubin)
2018-07-01 Iran Cracks Down on Internet Café VPNs (Michael Rubin)

2018-06-01 Iran, Russia to Jointly Manufacture Helicopter (Michael Rubin)
2018-06-01 Iran Unveils New Unmanned Helicopter (Michael Rubin)
2018-06-01 Russia and Iran Compete for Syria’s Phosphates (Lucas Winter)
2018-06-01 Is Iran Ready to Send Its Navy to Japan (Michael Rubin)

2018-05-01 Iran and Russia Compete for Influence in Syria (Lucas Winter)
2018-05-01 Will Iran Interfere in Kashmir? (Michael Rubin)
2018-05-01 Iran and Russia Compete for Influence in Syria (Lucas Winter)
2018-05-01 Iran and Russia Compete for Influence in Syria (Lucas Winter)
2018-05-01 Will Iran Interfere in Kashmir? (Michael Rubin)
2018-05-01 Iran and Russia Compete for Influence in Syria (Lucas Winter)

2018-04-01 13 Million Users of Domestic Messaging Apps in Iran (Michael Rubin)
2018-04-01 Iran: Supreme Leader Advisor Lauds Russian Strategic Ties (Michael Rubin)
2018-04-01 Iran: Muslims Supported by US, UK are Illegitimate (Michael Rubin)
2018-04-01 Iran: Israel’s Missile Defense Can Be Overwhelmed (Michael Rubin)
2018-04-01 Iran Unveils New Anti-Armor Missile (Michael Rubin)

2018-03-01 Iran: Warship Sinks after Mishap (Michael Rubin)
2018-03-01 Iran: Winning Hearts and Minds in Deir Ezzor (Lucas Winter)
2018-03-01 Iran Develops UAS with “Smart Bomb” Capability (Alma Keshavarz and Robert Bunker)
2018-03-01 Iran: US Sponsoring Islamic State in Afghanistan (Michael Rubin)
2018-03-01 Iran: Winning Hearts and Minds in Deir Ezzor (Lucas Winter)
2018-03-01 Iran: Telegram Giving Data to US and Israel (MIchael Rubin)

2018-02-01 A Malaysian Perspective on US-Iran Relations (Jacob Zenn)
2018-02-01 Turkish Perspectives on Iran (Karen Kaya)
2018-02-01 Iran: Was America Behind Uprising? (Michael Rubin)
2018-02-01 Iran: Lifting the Ban on Instagram was Illegal (Michael Rubin)

2018-02-01 Iran Approaches the Syria-Jordan Border (Lucas Winter)
2018-02-01 Indonesian Perspectives on the Iran Protests (Jacob Zenn)
2018-02-01 India’s Interest in Stability in Iran (Matthew Stein)
2018-02-01 China Limits Internet Exposure to Iran Protests (Jacob Zenn)
2018-02-01 Saudi-Iran Tensions Seen in Nigerian Crackdown on Shia Group (Jacob Zenn)

2018-01-01 Iran: New Military Budget Proposed (Michael Rubin)
2018-01-01 Iran-Khamenei Speaks on Views toward America (Michael Rubin)
2018-01-01 Iran’s Amphibious Aircraft from Russia (Michael Rubin

Iran Seeks To Reestablish Embassy and Consulate in Saudi Arabia Before Hajj

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani speaks to the Islamic Republic News Agency in a November 2022 file photo.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana’ani speaks to the Islamic Republic News Agency in a November 2022 file photo.

“Efforts will be made to reopen and activate our country’s diplomatic representations before the annual Hajj.”

On 10 March 2023, regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia announced a deal to restore diplomatic relations for the first time in more than seven years. On 6 April 2023, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, met in Beijing to discuss the technicalities of resuming ties. According to the excerpted article from the Iran-based Hamshahri newspaper, these diplomatic efforts are taking place in earnest to normalize relations before the Hajj, which begins 26 June 2023.[i] Iran-Saudi ties have long been fraught. While ethnic tension between the two Middle East regional powers predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution, sectarian and ideological differences in the post-1979 period created significantly more hostility.[ii] Both countries accuse the other of supporting terrorist groups targeting the other.[iii] So, while the restoration of diplomatic relations may appear straightforward, Iran’s track record breeds suspicion, especially regarding the Hajj. In 1986, the head of the predecessor to the Quds Force, sought to infiltrate saboteurs into Mecca under cover of the Hajj to unleash a bombing campaign. The following year, clashes erupted between Iranian demonstrators and Saudi security forces, leading to the deaths of more than 400 pilgrims. Despite Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s willingness to reconcile with Iran, Saudi security forces and intelligence will tread carefully, especially regarding the size of the mission and the freedoms Iranian diplomats might enjoy inside the Kingdom. During the 1986 incident, hardline ideologues within Iran’s security services ignored the Iranian government’s desire to break out of its isolation. Almost four decades later, it remains to be seen if the same dynamics are at play, especially as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps do not fall under the authority of either President Ebrahim Raisi or Foreign Minister Abdollahian.


“Talash baraye Rahandazi Saferat-e Iran dar Arabistan qabl az Ayam-e Hajj (The Struggle to Set Up an Iranian Embassy in Saudi Arabia before the Hajj),” Hamshahri (mass circulation general newspaper), 12 April 2023. https://www.hamshahrionline.ir/news/753453

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana’ani said that an Iranian technical delegation arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday [April 12] at noon in a new step toward the implementation of the agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia to resume formal relations and diplomatic activities of political and consular representations of the two countries. Saudi officials welcomed the delegation.

The spokesman added that the Iranian delegation divided into two working groups to take the necessary measures to set up the embassy and consulate general in Riyadh and Jeddah respectively and also to discuss reestablishment of a permanent representation of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the [Jeddah-based] Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman also added that the Saudi technical delegation, which arrived in Iran on Saturday [April 8, 2022], will leave for Mashhad tomorrow [April 13, 2022].“Efforts will be made to reopen and activate our country’s diplomatic representations before the annual Hajj,” the spokesman added.


[i] Within the United States, much of the ensuing coverage and commentary focuses on China’s role as diplomatic broker, but Iranian discussion largely focuses on the technicalities and timeframe for resuming its diplomatic missions in the Kingdom.

[ii] Saudi Arabia was among Iraq’s most generous financial backers during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. After clashes at the Hajj in 1987, Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran, a freeze that lasted close to four years. During the 1990s, there was a brief rapprochement, but tensions renewed after the 2003 U.S.-led ouster of Saddam Hussein as Iranian-backed militias grew more powerful in Iraq at the expense of the country’s Sunni Arabs. In 2012, protests that Saudi authorities accused Iran of instigating wracked Saudi Arabia’s Shiite-dominated Eastern Province. Saudi Arabia responded with brute force, killing dozens and arrested Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, Saudi Arabia’s top Shiite scholar, who Saudi Arabia later executed. For more on the dynamics at the time, see: Michael Rubin, “Iran Demands Release of Nigerian Shi’ite Cleric” OE Watch, September 2016. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-past-issues/195361/download

[iii] For example, see: Michael Rubin, “Iran’s Prosecution of Arab Separatist Highlights Supposed Saudi Ties” OE Watch, 3-2022. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-past-issues/407738/download

Image Information:

Image: Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana’ani speaks to the Islamic Republic News Agency in a November 2022 file photo.
Source: https://media.hamshahrionline.ir/d/2022/11/08/4/4752193.jpg?ts=1667935844000
Attribution: Islamic Republic News Agency

Iran Unveils Updated Yasin Training Jet With Possible Close Combat Applications

The Yasin training jet, 11 March 2023.

The Yasin training jet, 11 March 2023.

“The Yasin will be able to be used… for close air support.”

In 2019 the Iranian military unveiled its new Yasin Training Jet [GRLCUT(1] to great fanfare. In March 2023, Iran announced the final prototype and Yasin production line, according to the excerpted article from the semi-official, pro-government Iranian Students’ News Agency. The latest variation of the training aircraft is said to include many upgrades, including new ejection seats, avionics, engine, and landing gear. An Iran-produced airborne weather radar has also been fitted into the Yasin. According to the article, since the end of the Iran-Iraq War, pilot training was put “on the agenda” of the Armed Forces, but Iran has continued to suffer from an aging fleet and untrained pilots.[i] The article suggests that pilot training is paramount in the development of the Yasin,[ii] but there is also speculation that Iran may fit the aircraft with weaponry, allowing it to become a low-cost, easy-to-operate, multi-role fighter with a focus on close air support. If Iran can produce the Yasin at scale, not only would it be a valuable training platform, but it could also be deployed to many of the conflict zones in which Iran has previously relied on drones for air support—namely Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. The introduction of the Yasin, or any Iranian manned aircraft, into any of these conflicts would risk escalating these proxy wars further.


“Ravanma-ye az Namuneh Ma’yar Tawlid-e Jet-e Amuzesh-e ‘Yasin’ (Unveiling of the Training Jet Prototype ‘Yasin’),” Iranian Students’ News Agency (semi-official student-run news agency that promotes the Iranian government’s line), 11 March 2023. https://www.isna.ir/news/1401122013717

The Yasin’s training jet production prototype was unveiled in the presence of the Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, while the mass production line of this training jet was also inaugurated…. Pilot training is one of the most advanced and complex training regimens that any country can do. The Islamic Republic of Iran has succeeded in applying world-class education in the fields of science and technology, and training pilots is no exception.

After the end of the [Iran-Iraq] war, the necessity for pilot training was put on the agenda of the Armed Forces. From that time, with the input of veterans and professors, faculties for training pilots were created….

So, how does the Islamic Republic of Iran train pilots and what is the role of Yassin training jet?

The training of the fighter aircraft pilot is fundamentally different from the civilian pilot. For military pilots, training is done in three stages: First, basic training for learning flight basics. Second, training for flight skills, regulations and maneuver. And, third, advanced training for tactical flight ability with advanced fighters. An important feature of advanced training jets is that pilots from operational bases continue to exploit them, and pilots become familiar with air combat and ground combat tactics and techniques, and learn the use of various weapons. All of these advantages and features have been the reason for…the Ministry of Defense to design and build this aircraft.

Does the aircraft also have combat capability?

Since combat training is in many cases carried out with real weapons and in simulated battle environments, it is natural that Yasin jet has the capability to conduct combat missions as well. In the development plan, it will be able to be used as a light combat aircraft and for close air support.


[i] For background on efforts within Iran to re-equip its air force, see: Michael Rubin, “Iran-China Air Force Cooperation on Horizon?” OE Watch, December 2015. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-past-issues/195975/download See also: Michael Rubin, “Iranian F-14 Crash Highlights Iran’s Need for New Fighter Contract,” OE Watch, August 2022. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-past-issues/421643/download

[ii] While a potentially positive step for the Iranian Air Force, the Yasin is not the bridge trainer required for Iran’s recent purchase of the Su-35 multi-role fighters from Russia. The Su-35 is far too complex and would necessitate a more advanced trainer. It is more likely that Russian pilots will train Iranian pilots to fly the Su-35.

Image Information:

Image: The Yasin training jet, 11 March 2023.
Source: https://cdn.isna.ir/d/2023/03/11/3/62547091.jpg?ts=1678512083735
Attribution: Iranian Students’ News Agency

Iran Praises Revolutionary Guards’ Proxy Afghan Brigade

Mothers of Fatamayoun Militiamen Hold Photos of Sons Killed in Action, 2017.

Mothers of Fatamayoun Militiamen Hold Photos of Sons Killed in Action, 2017.

“If it were not for their sacrifices, today the Islamic State would have advanced to Bangladesh.”

Against the backdrop of the fight against the Islamic State that erupted in 2014, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force established a number of ethnic-based movements to fight in Syria.[i] The Quds Force deployed the Afghan Shia militia Liwa Fatemiyoun (Fatimid Banner) to Syria primarily to defend the Damascus shrine of Zaynab, the daughter of Imam Ali and the granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad.[ii] In the excerpted article from IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency, General Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh, Deputy Commander of the Quds Force, speaks about the legacy of the Liwa Fatemiyoun upon the death of one of its commanders. He describes the Fatemiyoun, an Afghan proxy of the IRGC, as a core component of the Iranian strategy to foil the Islamic State. While this may be an exaggeration in terms of actual fighting, the IRGC used the crisis to form the Fatemiyoun and other ethnic militias to further the IRGC’s aim to export revolution.  That the Quds Force did not disband the Liwa Fatemiyoun after the defeat of the Islamic State inside Syria suggests that the IRGC seeks to preserve the group to utilize beyond its initial purpose. Fallahzadeh’s discussion that absent the Afghan brigade, the Islamic State might have reached Bangladesh, suggests that Iran might be ready for a renewed push into South Asia. Shortly after the Iranian Revolution, the IRGC sponsored not only Lebanese Hezbollah but sought to create a corollary movement among Pakistani Shia. While infiltration of the Lebanese diaspora helped the Quds Force project power not only in the Middle East, but also Africa and Latin America, it traditionally fell short in South Asia. Forty years later, the Quds Force might see the Liwa Fatemiyoun as a viable substitute for its failed Pakistan efforts to extend its influence as far to the east as it does to the west.[iii]


“Sardar Falahzadeh: Agar Aysargariha-ye Fatamayun Nabud, Emruz Da’esh ta Bangladesh Pishruye Kardeh Bud (General Falahzadeh: If It Were Not for the Sacrifices of the Fatamayun, the Islamic State Would Have Advanced to Bangladesh),” Fars News Agency (a news agency closely affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), 13 February 2023. https://www.farsnews.ir/news/14011124000424

General Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh, the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, met in Yazd with the family of the late Sayyid Qasem Hosseini, a warrior defending the shrine from the [Liwa] Fatemiyoun Division. In this meeting, General Fallahzadeh commemorated upon the memory of the martyrs defending the shrine and said, “the Islamic State was not a normal organization, but a vicious pedigree that was both determined and motivated by its false belief, and, in a single sentence, it can be said that the Islamic State was the army of false belief.

The deputy commander of the Quds Force added, “Usually mercenary armies try to avoid suffering casualties, but the Islamic State, with their firm but vicious conviction, martyred our warriors with suicide operations and perished in the process. In Syria, all blasphemy was against all Islam, and it was the alliance between Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iran that stopped the Islamic State because [our] correct belief was greater and stronger.”

… He described the Islamic State as a product of the American Zionist plan and continued, “The defenders of the shrine and Fatemiyoun warriors, led by the Supreme Leader and the commander of the hearts of Haj Qassem Aziz [Qassem Soleimani], defeated this plan and secured a victory for the Islamic Front.”Referring to Fatemiyoun’s role in defending the Shrine of [Al-Sayyida] Zaynab [in Damascus], the deputy commander of the Quds Force said, “These beloved ones played an essential role in defending Islam, Shi’ism and humanity and, if it were not for their sacrifices, today the Islamic State would have advanced to Bangladesh.”


[i] For more background on Iran’s Afghan and Pakistani militias, see: Michael Rubin, “Cleric Speaks on Iran’s Foreign Militias,” OE Watch, February 2019. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-past-issues/266059/download

[ii] Liwa Fatemiyoun was formed in 2014, although it is possible that former Afghan National Army soldiers are now serving in the ranks of Liwa Fatemiyoun, as thousands have fled Afghanistan and now reside in Iran.

[iii] For an earlier discussion of Iran’s concept of strategic boundaries extending to its west, see: Michael Rubin, “Iranian Influence Extends to the Mediterranean,” OE Watch, September 2018. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-past-issues/242569/download

Image Information:

Image: Mothers of Fatamayoun Militiamen Hold Photos of Sons Killed in Action, 2017
Source: https://images.khabaronline.ir//images/2016/5/16-5-14-135413950108_0633065.jpg
Attribution: Khabar Online

Iran Profiles the Female Police Seeking To Quell the Women’s Protests

Members of the Women’s Police Special Unit pose in front of their motorcycles, February 2023.

Members of the Women’s Police Special Unit pose in front of their motorcycles, February 2023.

“Some people were paid to attack.”

In September 2022, the death while in police custody of 22 year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for alleged improper dress, sparked an unprecedented wave of protests and unrest across Iran, as Iranians rallied under the slogan “Women, life, freedom.”[i] In addition to brutal crackdowns that have killed hundreds and landed tens of thousands in prison, the Iranian government has engaged its state-run media to present an alternative narrative to its populace to argue that women support the Islamic Republic. The excerpted feature by a correspondent from Fars News, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, profiles a female police officer, but its awkward praise for her intellectual and athletic excellence and her choice to become a police officer unintentionally highlights the regime’s condescension that chafes at Iranian women. The Iranian regime is aware that it has an ideological problem: many young Iranians are not committed to Revolutionary Leader Ayatollah Khomeini’s Shi’ite revolutionary values.[ii]Fars News’ decision to spotlight the women’s elite police unit coincides with a broader effort to counter this ideological erosion and renew revolutionary values among Iran’s youth. It also seeks to amplify the idea that the police cracking down on the protestors are the true patriots by juxtaposing the anonymous subject with allegations that outside powers sponsored or manipulated those protesting on behalf of Amini and Iranian women. The emphasis in the Fars News profile on the special police unit members’ proficiency in both English and French is curious. It might seek to imply to the Iranian audience that the protests are not indigenous, but rather foreign agents spark and control the riots. At the same time, the mention of language proficiency may also reflect an understanding inside regime circles that they must engage foreign journalists and diplomats in their own languages. While women have long played a role in specialized units of the paramilitary Basij, their traditional focus on enforcing dress and sexual segregation in public spaces has rubbed many Iranians the wrong way. Notably the article acknowledges the popular anger directed to the security forces, but it is not clear if information operations like this or even a new squad will improve Iranian women’s perceptions of their government and its security forces.


Maryam Arab Ansari, “Ba Polis-e Zan-e Nukhbeh ‘Yagan Vizheh’: az Tobaher dar Rishteh-haye Razmi Taslet beh Inglis va Faransavi (With the Women’s Police Elite ‘Special Unit’: From Mastering Martial Arts to Speaking English and French),” Fars News Agency (news agency closely affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), 12 February 2023. https://www.farsnews.ir/news/14011122000164

She is a police officer, a woman, a member of the Special Operations Group, and has full proficiency in English and French. In 2021, she graduated with a straight A average, and ranked 300th in English [nationwide], entered the Amin Police University [in Tehran], where she had both general and specialized training. She also passed combat training including [basic] self-defense, judo, weapons training, rappelling, ninja crafts, shooting, arrest and detention. Every day, she periodically reviews her exercises, specialized and combat training because physical fitness is an integral part of sports and specialized training for special force officers, although her specialty is judo.

She is single. I ask during the riots and with your presence in the streets, didn’t your mother worry that God forbid something would happen to you?

With calmness, she says, “There were no troubling issues, and we have learned not to worry our families….I ask about the days of turmoil, the unrest and how some people were paid to attack people in the streets and squares of the city and…The only answer she gives use is that insults and slander have no effect on our resolve, and our sole purpose and focus is to ensure the order and security of the people, and we are not going to react whether we hear insults or disrespect.


[i] For background on the death of Mahsa Amini and the ensuing protests, see: Maggie McGrath, “Mahsa Amini: The Spark That Ignited A Women-Led Revolution,” Forbes, 6 December 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2022/12/06/mahsa-amini-the-spark-that-ignited-a-women-led-revolution/?sh=6a9f7aeb5c3d

[ii] For a previous discussion on revolutionary fervor among a younger generation, see: Michael Rubin, “Iran’s Supreme Leader Speaks on Martyrdom,” OE Watch, December 2021, https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-past-issues/399678/download; Michael Rubin, “Khamenei Warns Veterans of Declining Revolutionary Fervor,” OE Watch, February 2020. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-articles-2-singular-format/354648

Image Information:

Image: Members of the Women’s Police Special Unit pose in front of their motorcycles, February 2023
Source: https://media.farsnews.ir/Uploaded/Files/Images/1401/10/24/14011024000759_Test_PhotoN.jpg
Attribution: Farsnews.ir

“The Islamic State’s “African Turn”: Why the African Continent Is Showing Outsized Importance for IS” (Jason Warner) (November 2022)

(Click image to download brief.)


  • The Islamic State Central is increasingly publicizing the achievements of its affiliated African
    provinces, leading to what the FMSO’s Foreign Perspectives Brief authors call “The Islamic
    State’s African Turn.”
  • The authors detail six potential benefits that IS Central might gain with such an “African
    Turn,” as well as what downsides might also accompany such a turn.
  • Overall, the authors assess that the Islamic State’s African Turn is likely more tied to
    temporary successes of African provinces than it is an attempt to change the Middle Eastern
    character of the group.

The Appeal of “Duginism” in the Middle East

Aleksandr Dugin, at the Civilizations of the Eurasian Area meeting on February 26, 2018 at the Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran.

Aleksandr Dugin, at the Civilizations of the Eurasian Area meeting on February 26, 2018 at the Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran.

A special role in the project is given to Sufism, not only in Turkey but also in other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Whatever one thinks of Russian political theorist Aleksandr Dugin’s esoteric cultural-geopolitical theories, his influence in Arabic-speaking countries is worthy of attention. Dugin, a Russian political philosopher who rose to prominence among Russian military and foreign policy elites with the 1997 publication of his book “Foundations of Geopolitics,” has long called for Russia to annex Ukraine to counter “Atlanticist” encroachment. Several of Dugin’s books are available in Arabic translation, most recently a tome published last July by prominent Qatari think tank The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. Two elements of Dugin’s ruminations on culture and geopolitics are finding receptive audiences in the Middle East: one, his opposition to U.S. regional involvement; and two, his appeals to cultural conservatism and civilizational identity.

Dugin’s strident critique of U.S. presence in the Middle East has been attractive to members of the Iranian-led “Resistance Axis,” which includes Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon and opposes the “West,” Israel, and Saudi Arabia.  Following the assassination of Dugin’s daughter Daria in August 2022 in Russia, allegedly by the Ukrainian government, a top Lebanese Hezbollah official issued a condolence statement that praised Dugin’s support for “the Palestinian cause and the legitimate struggle against American hegemony, Zionist occupation and takfiri terrorism.” Indeed, Dugin’s strong critiques of Israel seemingly appeal to a broad spectrum of the Arab public, including leftists and liberals who may otherwise disagree with many of his far-right-leaning ideas.

Furthermore, Dugin’s cultural conservatism seemingly endears him to a spectrum of Middle Eastern religious movements and organizations, both Sunni and Shi’ite.  Perhaps most interesting in this regard are Dugin’s appeals to Sufism, a diverse and varied Sunni school of thought and practice.  Broadly speaking, Sufism is associated with a mystical, esoteric approach to Islam, in contrast to the strict textualism of fundamentalist Salafi or Wahhabi groups.  The accompanying excerpt from the leftist, pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, translates a 2020 piece written by Daria Dugin on Russia’s approach to the Middle East.  In it, she argues for establishing a Russian alliance with the “Islamic Civilization” via Iran and Turkey, with special emphasis on Turkey due to its historical links with Sufism. Dugin’s appeal among Arab intellectuals and pundits has its limits, however.  Arab liberals, in particular, are likely to be skeptical of Dugin’s “anti-imperialism” and distrust his appeals to cultural conservatism.  As a recent piece in the independent Lebanese news website al-Modon argues, Dugin supports the idea of self-determination yet also “theorizes conquests, profit-sharing, and access to the warm waters of oceans and seas,” and as such is little more than an ideologue seeking to justify Russia’s imperial ambitions.


Source: The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (prominent Qatari think tank), July 2022. https://bookstore.dohainstitute.org/p-2276.aspx

As part of its “translation series,” The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies has published a book titled “Geopolitics of Postmodernity: The Age of New Empires, General Outlines of Political Geography in the Twenty-First Century,” by Alexander Dugin.


“الموسوي: جريمة اغتيال داريا دوغينا تشكل عملاً ارهابياً قذرا

(Al-Moussawi: The assasination of Daria Dugin is a dirty act of terrorism),” al-Manar (Lebanese Hezbollah media outlet), 24 August 2022. https://almanar.com.lb/9887506

Hezbollah’s official in charge of Arab and international relations, Ammar al-Moussawi, issued the following statement:

On the occasion of the tragic incident that claimed the life of Mrs. Daria Dugin, the daughter of the Russian thinker and philosopher Alexander Dugin, I would like to express my condemnation of this crime, which constitutes a filthy terrorist act. I also take this occasion to express my great appreciation for Mr. Dugin’s position and courageous stances in defense of his country and people, as well as of just and righteous causes, including the Palestinian cause and the legitimate struggle against American hegemony, Zionist occupation and takfiri terrorism.


“روسيا والشرق الأوسط: استراتيجيات آفاق وتوقعات

(Russia and the Middle East: Strategies, Prospects and Expectations),” al-Akhbar (leftist, pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily), 22 August 2022. https://al-akhbar.com/World/343506

A special role in the project is given to Sufism, not only in Turkey but also in other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, with the exception of countries where Wahhabism, Salafism and Takfirism predominate (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar)… Reviving the traditions of Rumi, Bektashi, and Yunus Emre may also change the role of Ankara, which has a chance to become a true leader of the Sunni world. Sufism, while remaining outside Middle Eastern operations, is at least as mobilizing as Salafism, and could play a role in uniting the Muslim world against Atlanticism and the Wahhabism it supports…

Thus, Moscow, Ankara and Tehran will return to their traditional roots and become centers of three spiritual civilizations (Orthodox, Sunni and Shiite). Together, they will oppose the West. It is interesting to note that these three nations, with imperial traditions, may have fought each other in the past, but today they have learned to overcome historical contradictions and realize the geopolitical inevitability of this tripartite partnership. 


“الدوغينيون العرب

(The Arab Dugins),” al-Modon (independent liberal Lebanese news website), 25 August 2022.


Indeed, in some of his books, Dugin theorizes conquests, profit-sharing, and access to the warm waters of oceans and seas. In short, the Russian Dugin is nothing but the other side of the American ideologues who have exposed us to creative chaos and what resulted from creative chaos, and democracy and what resulted from democracy…

Image Information:

Image: Aleksandr Dugin, at the Civilizations of the Eurasian Area meeting on February 26, 2018 at the Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran.
Source: https://www.farsnews.ir/photo/13981126000814/نشست-تمدن-های-حوزه-اوراسیا
Attribution: CCA 4.0 INT

Iran Seeks To Counter Misinformation Circulating on Social Media

Clip of a video circulating on Iranian social media in which Iranians misidentify German-born Greek-Iranian actor Vassilis Koukalani as a Revolutionary Guards officer.

Clip of a video circulating on Iranian social media in which Iranians misidentify German-born Greek-Iranian actor Vassilis Koukalani as a Revolutionary Guards officer.

“A clip entitled, ‘IRGC Commander having fun with women abroad’ was released.”

Iranians are avid consumers of social media.  However, the popular embrace of social media is a double-edged sword.  The excerpted article from government media outlet Fars News Agency highlights Iranian efforts to counter misinformation circulating on social media. 

Many Iranians, especially those who approach state-run television and news agencies with cynicism, get their news from social media. Telegram is popular.  While the Iranian government discourages use of Facebook and Twitter, even Iranian officials use such platforms.  During the 2018-19 unrest, security forces even circulated photos of protestors on Twitter to crowdsource their identification.  Specifically, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) denounce the legitimacy of two clips that Iranians said depicted the misbehavior and corruption of a senior IRGC officer, but actually show German-born, Greek-Iranian actor Vassilis Koukalani.

That Iranians so readily believed that Koukalani’s clips depicted IRGC corruption, however, reflects the cynicism with which ordinary Iranians view the institution and the hypocrisy that they expect from public figures.  While Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei seeks to imbue revolutionary values in the next generation, it appears that multi-million dollar corruption scandals and human trafficking rings involving clerics have eroded public trust more broadly. The Iranian public’s readiness to believe ‘fake news’ regarding their leaders could also become a security issue for the regime.  In 2001, an Iranian diaspora television channel broadcasting from California sparked nationwide riots when it claimed that Iranian authorities had ordered the national soccer team to throw an important World Cup qualifier to prevent men and women from celebrating together.  Ironically, the excerpted Fars News Agency article will only exacerbate the regime’s credibility problem as Iranians could interpret the failure to correct future questionable social media stories as tacit admission that other videos and clips are real.


“Dorough-e Digar Aliyeh Sepah (Another Lie against the Revolutionary Guards),” Fars News Agency (official media outlet close to Iran’s security forces), 7 May 2022. https://www.farsnews.ir/news/14010217000011

Another Lie against the Revolutionary Guards

Recently, a clip entitled “IRGC Commander having fun with women abroad” or “IRGC Commander and his daughter dancing and singing in the car” has been released. The clip identified the person in the clip as a Revolutionary Guards commander. 

But the fact is that the person in the clip is a German-born mixed heritage actor, and his photo in an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps uniform is related to his role in one of the Zionist, anti-Iranian films in which he has starred.

Image Information:

Image: Clip of a video circulating on Iranian social media in which Iranians misidentify German-born Greek-Iranian actor Vassilis Koukalani as a Revolutionary Guards officer.
Source: Fars News Agency
Attribution: none

Iran Initiates and Defends New Bread Subsidies Amid Deteriorating Economy

The Iranian government is seeking to clarify rumors surrounding bread price increases.

The Iranian government is seeking to clarify rumors surrounding bread price increases.

“The needy and low-income groups of the society can get the full advantage of these subsidies.”

Official Iranian media is trying to justify new domestic subsidies put in place to counter Iran’s worsening economy.  Iran is very sensitive to bread prices and like many other countries in the Middle East, is highly dependent on wheat and grain imports.  Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Iranian officials had said that wheat imports were on the rise.  On 7 May, the head of Iran’s Flour Producers Association said that Iran needed to import 20 million tons of wheat and that its reliance on the foreign grain supply, especially Russia’s, had never been so great.  While the Iranian government blames the domestic grain production shortfall on drought, Iranians say a greater responsibility may be the result of corruption and watershed mismanagement as the economic wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps wins contracts to build unnecessary dams regardless of whether such diversions prevent water flow to agricultural land.

The excerpted article from Iranian new outlet Fars News Agency seeks to correct misinformation circulating online and explain new subsidy policies.  While Iranians worry that bread rations are on the horizon, the article suggests that new requirements equip the bakeries to accept bank debit cards.  These, in turn, will automatically apply government subsidy payments based on income level.  As suggested in the article, the government designed the scheme to counter illegal profiteering among bakeries. While Iranian subsidy schemes aim to ameliorate the risks of social unrest, their expense to government coffers often involves trade-offs.  Shifting funding to grain subsidies has led to a decrease of support for chicken feed that in turn has led to greater expense and scarcity of chicken and eggs.  The impact of this was apparent during Iranian Nowruz (New Year) festivities.  As households were unable to accommodate the hospitality toward guests traditional during the period, Iranians explained that many residents of Tehran and other major cities decided instead to travel to the countryside where they might be relieved of the expense of feeding guests.  Iranians recognize the erosion of Nowruz hospitality as an unwanted sacrifice that illustrates just how dire their economic situation has become.


“Az Shaye’ah ta Vaghe’yat Yaraneh-e Nan (Bread Subsidy Cards: From Rumor to Reality),” Fars News Agency (official media outlet closely associated with Iran’s military and security services), 7 May 2022. https://www.farsnews.ir/news/14010217000044

Bread Subsidy Cards: From Rumor to Reality

From rumor to reality: The 13th government [the Raisi administration] has undertaken what the Rouhani administration should have done years ago, and out on the agenda removal of 4,200 tomans [subsidy]. The government intends to implement key economy reforms for the sake of justice and to eliminate the profits of certain people. Government officials have said they are ready to sacrifice their own reputations for this. One of the important issues in this regard is price liberalization and the direct payment of bread subsidies to the people. In this regard, some people published a photoshopped and false images of a “bread subsidy card.” The Central Bank’s deputy for New Technologies said in this regard: “The infrastructure is designed so that people can claim their subsidy at the same time by using a card while buying basic goods. In this way, the purchase cost is deducted from both the individual subsidy and the bank account.” This will subsidize only the flour used by the people, not all the flour of the bakeries. There is no need for a new card as purchases are made with the current bankcard of individuals. The price and manner of buying bread does not change….

For other basic goods, a monthly amount is provided to compensate for the increase in prices. The higher income groups pay a part of the cost of providing these goods, but the needy and low-income groups of the society can get the full advantage of these subsidies….

Image Information:

Image: The Iranian government is seeking to clarify rumors surrounding bread price increases
Source: Jam-e Jam Online, https://jamejamonline.ir/files/fa/news/1401/2/16/599366_453.jpg
Attribution: none

Khamenei Speaks on Necessity of Palestinian “Resistance”

Poster from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s webpage celebrating Palestinian “resistance” against Israel.

Poster from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s webpage celebrating Palestinian “resistance” against Israel.

“The Resistance fights against international terrorism.”

During his annual Qods Day speech, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei doubled down on the necessity to support regional “resistance” against not only Israel but also the United States and its allies.  The Iranian government labels terrorist actions as “resistance” and in recent years, in addition to Palestinian “resistance,” other regional groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi militias, and the Yemeni Houthis have also taken center stage on Qods Day.  In his televised address, excerpted here from his official webpage, Khamenei.ir, Khamenei argues that most Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel proper, i.e., “the 1948… lands,” support Palestinian attacks.  This directly contradicts core assumptions shaping Western policymaking, but suggests that Iran claims it has popular approval to support and sponsor attacks against Israel, such as the sharp increase in stabbing attacks in Israeli towns and cities in recent months within the 1949 armistice lines.  Khamenei also contextualized Iranian support for Palestinian “resistance” within the greater fight for control in Lebanon, the battle against the Islamic State in Syria, and the fight against Americans in Iraq.  Khamenei is claiming wide victory for Iranian policy, a fact that he will probably use to double down on further rejectionism of Israel and an active U.S. role in the Middle East in coming years.  Any hope that Western diplomacy might lead to a change in Iranian behavior seems doubtful so long as Khamenei remains at Iran’s helm.


“Sokhanrani Televisiyon beh Monisabat Roz-e Jihani Qods (Televised Speech on the Occasion of World Qods Day),” Khamenei.ir (Khamenei’s official website), 29 April 2022.


Resistance has been the Most Blessed Phenomenon

Polls show that almost 70 percent of the Palestinians in the 1948 and 1967 lands and in the surrounding camps encourage the Palestinian leaders to carry out attacks on the Zionist regime. This is an important phenomenon because it signifies the complete preparedness of the Palestinians to confront the usurping regime and it provides the mujahid organizations with the freedom to take military action whenever they deem necessary.

The jihadi moves of the people of Palestine in the two northern and southern parts of the 1948 lands, and at the same time, the massive rallies in Jordan and Eastern Quds, the brave defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Palestinian youth, and the military maneuvers in Gaza indicate that all of Palestine has turned into an arena of resistance. At present, the people of Palestine are unanimous about continuing this struggle on the path of God….

The formation of the Resistance in West Asia has been the most blessed phenomenon in this region in recent decades. It was the magnificence of the Resistance that was able to cleanse the occupied territories of Lebanon of the pollution of the Zionists, pull Iraq out from the clutches of the Americans, save Iraq from the maliciousness of the Islamic State, and assist Syrian defenders in the face of the U.S. schemes. The Resistance fights against international terrorism, helps the resistant people of Yemen in the war that has been imposed on them, wrestles with the Zionist usurpers in Palestine and will bring them to their knees with God’s grace….The Islamic Republic of Iran advocates and supports the camp of Resistance. It advocates and supports the Palestinian Resistance. We have always said this, we have always acted on this, and we have stood by it.

Image Information:

Image: Poster from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s webpage celebrating Palestinian “resistance” against Israel.
Source: Khamenei.ir
Attribution: none