Baghdad

Testimony: Iran’s Global Force Projection Network: IRGC Quds Force and Lebanese Hezbollah

IRGC Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, the father of Imad Mughniyeh, the former commander of Hezbollah's external operations killed in 2008, and Kazem Darabi attend a February 19, 2013 mourning ceremony for Quds Force Brigadier General Hassan Shateri in Tehran (Young Journalists' Club)

Iranian Influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan

This report is a product of the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War.

Ali Akbar Velayati: A Window into the Foreign Policy of Iran's Supreme Leader

Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor for foreign affairs to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, at the Iranian Embassy in Damascus on August 9, 2010. (Getty)

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Iran's Strategic Offensive in Iraq

The Queens Royal Lancers on patrol in Maysan Province, Iraq, bordering Iran. (Source: Defence Image Database)

In recent months, the Iranian regime has reinvigorated its use of hard and soft power tactics in Iraq as a means to undermine the American presence in Iraq and exert greater influence over the Iraqi government’s policies. Through its actions Iran is demonstrating that it is willing and capable of both exploiting the Iraqi state and killing Americans.  

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Iraq-Iran Foreign Relations

Flag of Iraq (Available at Wikimedia Commons)

Iran Has Designs on Iraq

 Vice President Joe Biden recently told Larry King that Iraq "could be one of the great achievements of this administration." Mr. Biden's transparent attempt to take credit for Bush administration policies aside, it's worth asking how exactly does the Obama administration define success in Iraq?

Iran’s Soft Power in Iraq

Shi'a Muslims on pilgrimage at the Husayn Mosque in Karbala, Iraq (Photo by SFC Larry E. Johns, USA, available at Wikimedia Commons)

 

In addition to hard power, Iran uses the soft power of its considerable political, economic, and religious influence to pursue its national interests in Iraq.

2009 Iranian Presidential Election Expatriate and Foreign Voting Results

Iran's Hard Power Influence in Iraq

Imam Reza Shrine, Mashhad, Iran; Iranian-backed Special Groups trained near Mashhad. (Photo: IA Source, taken in August 2005, available at Wikimedia Commons)

 

Marisa Cochrance serves as research manager at the Institute for the Study of War