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Suleimani – The Second Most Powerful Man in Tehran

Suleimani

The most interesting Iranian person in the world right now isn’t sitting in Vienna to talk about the nuclear agreement, and isn’t dishing out quirky or alarming quotes from Tehran. He is probably on a plane, flying to and from Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad etc…helping to increase Tehran’s military and political influence.

Meet Qassam Suleimani, commander of the IRGC’s „external“ operations units, better known as the Qods Force. A former CIA chief, John Maguire calls him, „the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today„. Or you can call him by his nickname: Keiser Soze.

Suleimani in Iran

On the outside, he leads a „regular life“. He is 57 years old. He wakes up every day at 4:00 and goes to sleep early at 21:30. He has five children. He takes his wife on some of his many „business“ trips. He suffers from back aches. He never raises his voice (in fact he is silent most of the time) but is gifted with an „understated charisma that makes people pay attention to him.

He is also a decorated war hero from the Iran-Iraq war and is connected all the way up to the Supreme Leader Khamenei himself who has referred to Suleimani as “a living martyr of the revolution.”

Rumours have it that Suleimani recently attempted a coup against Rouhani which was blocked at the last moment by Khamenei himself.“

Running the War in Damascus

In Syria, Suleimani has worked as the liaison between the leaders in Tehran, the Hezbollah chiefs and Bashar al-Assad for the past 3 years. He has built up Assad’s army from the inside after once exclaiming „The Syrian army is useless! Give me one brigade of the Basij, and I would conquer the whole country“.

He works in Damascus from a fortified nondescript building together with a large array of officers: Syrian military commanders, a Hezbollah commander, a coordinator of Iraqi Shiite militias and a close comrade of his, the Basij former deputy commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani.

Once Suleimani got settled in, an immediate sharp increase in Iranian supply flights into the Damascus airport carrying weapons and ammunition was noticed. Thousands of Quds operatives suddenly turned up within the Syrian army and in Assad’s special security service.

Working Behind the Scenes in Baghdad

But, as the ISIS crisis got into Iraq, Suleimani flew out repeatedly to Baghdad. The Guardian says – „Experts agree that it is hard to overestimate Suleimani’s role in Iraq. „At times of crisis Suleimani is the supreme puppeteer…He is everywhere and he’s nowhere. Suleimani is doing in Baghdad what he did in Damascus“ – this time with Maliki instead of Assad.

Under his guidance, Tehran began by supplying Maliki with weapons and militia men as well as flying out drones and jet fighters into Iraq. Judging from Suleimani’s experience in Damascus, one can only expect Suleiman to set up a similar force in Baghdad as well.

In any case, it would be worthwhile to keep an eye out on him at all times…trouble is never far away from him.

 

Source: Iran 24/07

Iran News Round Up (6 JUNE 2013)

Qalibaf emphasizes Iran-Iraq War credentials to defend his image; Velayati publishes detailed cyber space platform; Iranian Telecommunications Company denies responsibility for reported internet disruptions
Politics

  • Former Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf heavily criticized opponents who label him as a technocrat and said, “I do not have the time to answer some people’s claims, but I believe that a person is a technocrat [if they have] not seen the color of the front [during the Iran-Iraq war].”
  • Presidential candidate Gholam Ali Haddad Adel said, “Their eight year militarily imposed war [Iran-Iraq war] did not achieve any results; therefore, it is possible that they have planned an eight-year imposed economic war. Our path is that just as the nation resisted in the Imposed War, economic resistance will maintain the country in the economically imposed war. We have no other way except this [path].” Haddad Adel also revealed that his cyber space platform is to follow the strategic directives of the Supreme Cyber Space Council.
  • Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai said he would alleviate international concerns regarding the nuclear program but would not abandon “national interests and the values of the revolution.” He added that he would form a 5+3 international group to politically resolve the Syrian crisis. The group would consist of Syrian neighbors Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon, in addition to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
  • Ali Akbar Velayati’s Cyber Space Committee Headquarters published the candidate’s platform regarding cyber space. The three main points are: “An opportunistic perspective instead of a threatened [perspective] towards cyber space; Ethics and partial immunity instead of limitation in cyber space, and; alignment with the Supreme Leader’s policies in establishing the Supreme Cyber Space Council.” His proposed policies also include establishing security operation centers in all sensitive parts of the country and supporting the indigenous development and construction of internet infrastructures.
  • According to Kurdistan Press Agency, two Ahl-e Haq religious minority Kurds, Hassan Razavi and Nikmard Taheri, self-immolated to protest Islamic Republic security forces arrest and abuse of coreligionist Kiumars Tamnak and his religious beliefs during an interrogation.
  • Alef News Agency reports that the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance sent an approximately 120 member group to Lebanon two weeks ago without any official announcements. The article questions the reasons and the financier of the trip, since the minister is reportedly known to be frugal regarding international travel and the ministry has recently had to cancel cultural events due to budget constraints. The group reportedly consisted of artists, poets and cultural officials, and the article notes that it used a conservative estimation based on oral reports so the group may have included as many as 200 individuals. The author attributed the trip to potential government abuse and waste. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

US Charges Iran More Active Worldwide

On May 31, two senior U.S. officials detailed Iran’s growing role in extremist activities worldwide. Tehran was directly or indirectly involved in the planning of attacks in Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa in 2012, said the officials. The following are excerpts from the background briefing.

            SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE:  Yesterday we released at the State Department the annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2012.  And one of the most noteworthy conclusions when we put that report together was a marked resurgence of terrorist activity by Iran and Hezbollah.  The tempo of operational activity was something we haven’t seen since the 1990s, with attacks plotted in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa in 2012 alone.
We believe this is an alarming trend.  It’s borne out by the facts and it merits closer inspection as we evaluate the landscape of terrorist activity globally.  Add to this, of course, is the deepening commitment both Iran and Hezbollah have made to fight and kill on behalf of the Assad regime in Syria.  That involvement, of course, is hardening the conflict and threatening to spread the violence across the region.
            Hezbollah and the Iranian leadership share a similar world view and strategic vision and are seeking to exploit the current unrest in the region to their advantage.  This approach has increased sectarian tensions and conflict and serves further as a destabilizing force during a time of great change throughout the region. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Hochrangiger iranischer Revolutionsgardist in Syrien getötet

Beirut (Reuters) – In Syrien haben Rebellen einen Kommandeur der iranischen Revolutionsgarden getötet.

Hussam Choschnewis sei auf der Straße von Damaskus nach Beirut Opfer „bewaffneter Terroristen“ geworden, teilte die iranische Botschaft im Libanon am Donnerstag mit. Ein Rebellen-Kommandeur sagte, der Angriff sei nahe der syrischen Stadt Sabadani im Grenzgebiet zum Libanon erfolgt. Choschnewis leitet eine iranische Agentur, die den Wiederaufbau des Libanon nach dem Krieg zwischen Israel und der vom Iran geförderten Hisbollah-Miliz im Jahr 2006 unterstützt. Die libanesische Zeitung „Al-Safir“ berichtete, Choschnewis sei in Syrien gewesen, um Pläne für den Wiederaufbau der im Bürgerkrieg stark zerstörten Wirtschaftsmetropole Aleppo zu überprüfen.

Vollständige Nachricht

 

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