This report is a product of the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War.
The Iranian Qods Force plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in Washington in a terrorist attack using Mexican drug cartel associates shows the complex threat the Iranian regime poses. Had the attack succeeded, it would have marked a dramatic escalation in the Iranian war against Saudi Arabia, which Tehran has hitherto waged primarily by proxy. It would also have been an escalation of the decades-long war Iran has waged against the U.S., which Tehran has fought largely indirectly rather than on American soil.
Hezbollah grew in strength in 2009 by entrenching itself further within Lebanon’s political structure and by building up its military capabilities. As a proxy of Iran, Hezbollah continued to receive support from Tehran and maintained a close relationship with Iranian political leadership.