The Treasury Department yesterday identified six al Qaeda members as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. These six terrorist operatives form a network that funnels money and personnel from the Gulf to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan via Iran. The head of the network, Syrian-born Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, operates from inside Iran with the full knowledge of the Iranian regime.
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.
Iran has long stonewalled the IAEA, the organization tasked with enforcing multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions that demand a halt to Iran’s illicit nuclear activities. And this week the rogue regime continued its march: Iranian leaders announced steps to accelerate and harden their nuclear program, ignoring recent measures taken by the U.S. and UN that included multiple rounds of diplomacy and sanctions meant to change the regime’s behavior.
This article appears in the Winter 2011 issue of Middle East Quarterly.
Seventeen months after the fraudulent June 12, 2009 presidential election, which threw the Islamic Republic into its worst political crisis since the 1979 revolution, and five months into the latest round of international sanctions against Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i is desperate to demonstrate that he is the legitimate supreme authority in Iran.
This is the second in a series of Middle Eastern Outlooks about Qassem Suleimani.
This is the first in a series of Middle Eastern Outlooks about Qassem Suleimani.