Iran Clearly Shows Its Imperial Ambitions in Syria

Hezbollah chief hassan Nasrallah ( L) and IRGC-Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani. Hezbollah was created by the Qods Force in 1982 and continues to operate as one of its divisions
Hezbollah chief hassan Nasrallah ( L) and IRGC-Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani. Hezbollah was created by the Qods Force in 1982 and continues to operate as one of its divisions

By Elliott Abrams
In May, 2017 Major General Qassem Soleimani, chief of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations branch known as the Qods Force, visited the Iraq/Syria border in the company of an Iran-backed Shia militia.

A spokesman for the militia, called the Popular Mobilization Forces, was quoted in Newsweek : “This will be the first step to the liberation of the entire border,” Ahmad al-Asadi, a spokesperson for the PMF said, according to the Associated Press. “This victory will also be an important incentive for the Syrian Arab Army to secure the entire border from the Syrian side,” he added.

Iranian-backed forces, that is, would take both sides of the border, so for Iran there would be no border. In June Soleimani was reported to be on the Syrian side of the border.

Now, it is reported that one of Iran’s hardest-line leaders, Ibrahim Raisi, has visited the Israeli-Lebanese border. Raisi, the defeated candidate for president in 2017, is a member of the Assembly of Experts that will choose a successor to “Supreme Leader” Ali Khamenei and is a candidate for that position himself.

Visiting Beirut, he took time to talk with the head of Hezbollah and to pay his respects at the home of the late terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyeh. But, as the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs noted,

The high point of Raisi’s visit occurred in southern Lebanon when he toured the border with Israel escorted by Hezbollah military commanders and Iranian officers….

Like Soleimani’s Iraq/Syria border visit, Raisi’s Lebanon/Israel border visit delivers several messages.

Iran proxy forces mapFirst, borders have no meaning for Iran; the Islamic Republic is determined to be the dominant player in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Second, the governments of those countries have no control of their own borders and territory; Iranian military and terrorist leaders can come and go as they please.

Third, whether Lebanon gets into a conflict with Israel will be determined by decisions made in Tehran, not in Beirut.

That is a sad development for most Lebanese, who are not fanatical Hezbollah supporters. But it is one the United States should keep in mind as we assess our relations with Lebanon and our military aid to that country.

Elliott Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

This article first appeared on the Council on Foreign Relations site.

Newsweek

  • Rascal

    Coming from a country (Iran) that constantly harps about little Israel taking land from the Pallie’s. Iran is way worse and much more destructive and evil. They are a clear definition of hypocrites.

    Mullah supporters are first class turds.

    • “little Israel?” Lying Jew bullshit.

    • Omega

      little Israel

      Children growing up in Israel are indoctrinated with that same exact propaganda: Israel is the poor little lamb surrounded by wolves. The fallacy of an imagined threat – when in fact, the threat is the “poor little lamb”.

      What do you make of Israel’s never ending aggression on the Palestinians and its neighbors?

      • Rudy1947

        Poor little Israel picking on all those big bad wolves. One must pity those poor Muslim wolves.

        • Omega

          Typical simpleton thinking: religion.

          Read again: imagined threat.

          Educate yourself, I’ll give you a hint: British East India Company-Levant Company.

          • Rudy1947

            The “religion” is the common thread for the Arabs, Turks, Persians, etc.

            Considering the “imagine threats” over the past 70 years have materialized as real, then caution becomes vigilance. Who’s in the batter’s box now?

          • Rascal

            He is a dis-information bot, only here to downplay the evil that is the Khamenei dictatorship. I hope Israel soon takes the war to Iran like Iran has moved on Israel. Iran has come a long way from Tehran to antagonize and build up attack positions against Israel. It would be stupid to let them fully prepare for their planned assault. Keep whacking IRGC as often as possible and plan to decimate Assad/Iran air defense first next time.

          • Niemals

            IF Israel have a war involving Iran it will not be done on the territory of Israel.
            Since Iran has moved on Syria, it will take place on the allredy broken Syria.

            Iran have a long way from Tehran to supply it’s own military in order to attack Israel.
            It would be stupid to let them fully prepare for their planned assault.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if IRGC is watched by the israeli military intelligence.

            If Israel are not watching the IRGC carefully, so the Americans doing it.

          • Rascal

            I’m not religious but Isaiah 17 seems very timely for the coming grand battle.Iran is bringing in so many foreign shiite fighters from from Iraq etc. It has to happen because Iran will not stop its apparent only reason to exist.

          • Omega

            You’re not religious but Isaiah 17.

            That makes a lot of sense.

          • Rascal

            Go read it, if you have not before. Seems more like a realistic and potential outcome of the current situation.

          • Omega

            You seem desperate for resorting to religion.

          • Rascal

            I post a common Bible chapter and that makes me religious? I see how religion has fvcked up the world in general. Keeping an open mind and keeping objective seems the most logical to me. I explore all kinds teachings. But you seem desperate to make cheap assumptions, believe whatever you desire.

          • Omega

            You know, I didn’t ask you to justify yourself.

          • Hind Abyad

            Pffhhhhaha..! Ratscal brain works in mysterious ways…

          • Rascal

            “I wouldn’t be surprised if IRGC is watched by the israeli military intelligence.”
            For sure, add to that the constant eye in the sky. It also keeps them paranoid. That is why they are so sneaky and quiet most times.
            I guess the real question is, how long a leash will Putin give Iran in Syria, when they can’t make them heel?

          • Niemals

            As I see it Putin give Iran in Syria limited leash, simply because the Syrian war arena is in practice a trial and exercise area to get ready for a confrontation with NATO.

            As you probably heard, even though NATO has warned the Russians to place the Iskander Missiles system in Kaliningrad, because it sees it as an escalation, Putin decided to fixed stationing – fully trained and equipped.

          • Omega

            Israel is a coward and it will never take on Iran. If it could have, it would have.

            Iran didn’t take on Israel. The Israeli thugs entered Syrian airspace and they were shown the way out.

          • Rudy1947

            Israel just did.

          • Omega

            Just did what? Take on Iran? When?

          • Rudy1947

            2015, an Iranian General Alladadi along with his staff and 2 days ago.

          • Omega

            Rudy1947: Israel just did.
            Me: when?
            Rudy1947: 2015

            (laughing)

          • Rudy1947

            You forgot the 2 days ago part…..conveniennt.

            LAUGHING.

          • Omega

            “2 days ago” is also not just.

            But alright, I’ll entertain your delusion: how did Israel take on Iran “2 days ago”?

          • Rudy1947

            Oh pluuuuueeese.

          • Omega

            Simple question. No answer.

            Reality (as I already wrote): Israel entered Syrian airspace and was shown the way out minus one F-16.

          • Rudy1947

            I try not to insult your intelligence and I get rubbish in return.

            200 sorties into Syria, thousands of munitions destroyed headed for Hezbollah, SAM batteries destroyed at the cost of 1 F-16. Time is longer than one day.

          • Omega

            You get what you give.

            My point is: Israel has not taken Iran in the sense Rascal made it look like: directly.

          • Rascal

            The JDAM that turned the Hezb/Iran units into pink mist says otherwise. Can’t get anymore direct than that. There is spy’s everywhere, ratting out IRGC/Hezbollah positions. Sorry that they did not publish their names for you to prove it.
            ……and Israel was not hiding behind proxy armies or paying Lebanese mercs to do the job for them. Keep up with the denial, it is hilarious. It is every response the Khamenei dictatorship makes in the news, deny this, deny that. There is lots of proof but you are so far down in that denial hole that you can not see out.

          • Omega

            You rely on the mainstream media. I rely on news on the ground. Both diverge.

            Enjoy your fairytales, you need them.

          • Rascal

            I seem to remember Israel whacking Hezb/Iran over 100 times in the last few years… they have no problem with confronting imperialistic Iran. And Iran has not got the point yet…..

          • Rascal

            Not without leaving massive craters where Iran’s bases used to be.
            Never underestimate your enemy. Next time the craters will be bigger if Iran does not stand down. But Iran would like to keep pushing and antagonizing, so expect alot more dead shiites.

          • Omega

            Iran, Russia, China and North Korea will stand down when pimp British Empire and her two whöres (the US and Israel) stand down. Until then …

          • Hind Abyad

            Disgusting irrelevant human being

          • Omega

            You continue exemplifying your fear and ignorance – both of which are the pillars of bigotry.

          • Rudy1947

            To quote an old movie, ” you have talked but have said nothing”.

          • Omega

            Read what you wrote before quoting that.

          • Rudy1947

            Okay…..now what?

          • Omega

            Go watch some hockey.

          • Rudy1947

            In 15 minutes.

          • Rascal

            After reading this I see you are still making desperate and cheap assumptions, when Rudy made a clear statement. And nobody sees fear or ignorance when reading his comments.
            Do you have comprehension issues in your black or white world?

          • Omega

            You lack critical thinking and; originality. I pointed at your desperation, you repeat the same.

            Your reference to Israel as “little” to denote its alledged innocence, victimhood, etc is beyond pathetic. Israel has been an aggressor since inception. That’s one of the pillar of bigotry: ignorance.

            Rudy claimed the threats “have marginalized” but reality shows otherwise: Israel has increase its territory by invading others and stealing their lands since inception. Israel is the threat. His argument of religion in reference to Arabs, Turks and others is the other pillar of bigotry: (imagined) fear.

    • William Petro

      evil,evil?
      You want evil, just look at the saudis!
      and you need look no further!
      for they are the mother of wahhabism!

  • Niemals

    In the end, it is allowed to talk about Iran’s imperialist ambitions in Syria…..

    • Rascal

      No comment from the resident shiite trolls.

      • Y K

        Did you mean “shyte trolls”? 🙂

        • Rascal

          Well, I really meant the “shit”, being the poos they are. Shit and shiite are very close in pronunciation. But the Khameneist have closer similarities.

    • Omega

      Iran (and Russia) is in Syria legally. What’s ‘Murica doing there?

      • Y K

        The concept of “legality” in relation to the Baathist regime is as irrelevant as that of Hezbollah’s weapons.

        • Omega

          The very same can be said about Israel as a whole, the US’ presence in the ME/ROW, etc.

          • Y K

            If everything’s the same, then everything is meaningless.

            Even though it’s not.

          • Omega

            Everything is the same (all want the same) and nothing is meaningless (the subsequent repercussions).

  • “Elliott Abrams is senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.”

    So definitely not a lying Jew propagandist. (sarcasm much)

    • Omega

      The CFR is hardly Jewish, it’s an arm of the British Inteligence linked to organizations like the Chatham House.