Palestinian Authority

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)

Read the full text of this piece as a PDF.

Iran-Hamas Relationship Tracker 2011

The Critical Threats Project’s Iran Tracker will be providing biweekly updates on Hamas’s relationship with Iran. Iran Tracker will document Hamas’s interactions with Iranian officials, information regarding the organization’s funding transfers of arms and materiel, militant operations, meetings and relations with groups and countries, Hamas’s official statements, and local developments in Gaza.

Iran-Hamas Relationship in 2008

(Image: HAMAS campaign rally in Ramallah, by Hoheit, available at Wikimedia Commons)


Military Activities

Iran, and particularly the Quds Force, a unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has built active relationships with terrorist groups from Lebanon to Palestine to Iraq. These ties, though not new, have increased in recent years as Iran has attempted to influence the course of recent Middle Eastern conflicts through arms, funding, training, and other assets provided to partners such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Special Groups in Iraq.

This section outlines the contours of the Iran-Hezbollah and the Iran-Hamas relationships as well as Iranian military activities in Iraq since 2003.

Javascript is required to view this map.

Can a Nuclear Iran Be Contained or Deterred?

The development of an Iranian nuclear program continues apace. While Iran's true intentions are a mystery, the Bush administration's posture has been inconsistent and lackluster. The administration made little serious effort to upgrade facilities in the region or rally our allies. The absence of a clear strategy to deter Iran will give that nation a free hand in the region to pursue conventional aggression and, what is worse, a nuclear attack.

Iran's Global Ambition

While the United States has focused its attention on Iranian activities in the greater Middle East, Iran has worked assiduously to expand its influence in Latin America and Africa. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's outreach in both areas has been deliberate and generously funded. He has made significant strides in Latin America, helping to embolden the anti-American bloc of Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua. In Africa, he is forging strong ties as well.