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News Digest: Week of February 26

February 26International: Iranian security forces shot at and injured 20 Kurds crossing the border area of Nowsud in western Kermanshah province. Border guards have repeatedly targeted kolbars, porters who transport untaxed goods across Iran’s borders with Iraq and Turkey. “The injuries sustained…

U.S. & Britain Sanction Iranian & Houthi Leaders

On Feb. 27, 2024, the United States and Britain sanctioned the deputy commander of the Qods Force, the external operations branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and a member of the Houthi rebel group in Yemen. The U.S. Treasury also designated the owner and operator of a ship that transported…

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Shipping to China

On Feb. 27, 2024, the United States sanctioned two companies that shipped more than $100 million in Iranian goods to businesses in China on behalf of Iran’s Ministry of Defense. The Panama-flagged Kohana was on its way to China when the Treasury Department made the announcement. The vessel was…

Explainer: Disillusioned Iranians Head to the Polls

On March 1, Iranians will vote in elections for Parliament and the Assembly of Experts, a body charged with selecting and overseeing the supreme leader. Iranian leaders consider voting a national duty because it represents a commitment to the 1979 revolution and its values. “Everyone should…

U.S. Sanctions Target Iran-Russia Military Ties

On Feb. 23, 2023, the United States sanctioned Iranian and Russian companies involved in transferring munitions as well as parts, components and materials for suicide drones. Moscow has increased its capacity to manufacture Iranian-designed suicide drones. For the first time, Washington designated…

News Digest: Week of February 19

February 19International: Mehr News Agency signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with TV BRICS at the 24th Iran Media Expo. The MoU set up further cooperation on content production and distribution across media outlets from BRICS member states, which include Brazil, Russia, India, China, South…

U.S. Sanctions Technology Smuggling Network

On Feb. 14, 2024, the United States sanctioned a network that smuggled U.S. goods and technology from American companies to the Central Bank of Iran and other users in the Islamic Republic. The Central Bank of Iran had previously been sanctioned for providing financial support to the Qods Force,…

News Digest: Week of February 12

February 12Diplomacy: Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian spoke with Qatari officials in Doha about the war in Gaza and regional tensions.Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha. pic.twitter.com/uj0oK3qa8O— Press TV (@…

Iran’s 45th Anniversary Celebrates Soleimani

Some of the most striking images from the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Islamic revolution were pervasive posters of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the elite Qods Force unit who was killed in a U.S. drone strike on Jan. 3, 2020. Iranians young and old carried photos of the slain…

Iran’s Revolution Marks 45th Anniversary

On Feb. 11, 2024, President Ebrahim Raisi addressed the nation to mark the 45th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. He heralded the Islamic Republic’s break from both East and West since the 1979 ouster of the U.S.-backed monarchy. “The time has passed when the heads of great powers come to…

U.S. Kills Kataib Hezbollah Commander

On Feb. 7, 2024, a U.S. airstrike killed Abu Baqir al Saadi, a senior commander in Kataib Hezbollah who reportedly ran its drone operations in Syria. He had been linked to the deaths of three American soldiers based at Tower 22, a military outpost in Jordan along the borders with Syria and Iraq.…

News Digest: Week of February 5

February 5Nuclear: Iran’s nuclear chief, Mohammed Eslami, announced the start of the construction of a new domestically designed 10-megawatt research reactor in central Isfahan. It would produce materials for cancer diagnostics and treatment. Eslami had also announced the construction of a nuclear…

MAPS: Militia Attacks on U.S. & U.S. Counterstrikes

Iranian-backed militias escalated attacks on U.S. military targets in Iraq and Syria after the war erupted between Hamas and Israel on Oct. 7, 2023. The militias are part of a network in the so-called Axis of Resistance. The Pentagon has specifically cited Kataib Hezbollah, the largest militia with…

Comments: Congress on Strikes in Syria and Iraq

On Feb. 2, 2024, U.S. warplanes struck more than 85 targets in Iraq and Syria in response to the Jan. 28 drone strike that killed three American soldiers in northern Jordan. The facilities were used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and affiliated militias responsible for more than 160 attacks on U.S…

Comments: Iran & Allies on Strikes in Syria & Iraq

Iran and its allies condemned the United States for launching airstrikes on seven facilities – four in Syria and three in Iraq – used by the Revolutionary Guards and affiliated militias. The February 2 attacks were retaliation for the January 28 drone strike that killed three American soldiers at a…

Comments: U.S. on Strikes in Syria and Iraq

On Feb. 2, 2024, the United States launched airstrikes on more than 85 targets in seven facilities – four in Syria and three in Iraq. The Pentagon reported that the sites included command and control operations centers, intelligence centers, rockets, and missiles, and drone and munition storage…

Profiles: Iran’s Militia Allies in Iraq

Since 2003, Iranian influence has deepened in Iraq through an array of Shiite militias trained, armed, aided, and supported financially by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). All shared Tehran’s strategic goal of expelling U.S. forces from the Middle East, although they have also had…

Roster of Iran’s Drones

Updated: February 2, 2024
By 2024, Iran’s military-industrial complex had produced thousands of advanced drones used for surveillance, reconnaissance, and combat used against U.S. forces as well as American allies in the Middle East. The drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) have become one of the greatest assets of the Iranian…

U.S. Sanctions Network Supplying Iran’s Missile & Drone Programs

On Feb. 2, 2024, the United States sanctioned a network that supplied materials and technology for Iran’s ballistic missile and drone programs. The new sanctions followed the attack on Jan. 28, 2024 on a U.S. outpost in northeast Jordan along the border abutting Syria and Iraq. Three American…

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Officials for Cyberattacks

On Feb. 2, 2024, the United States sanctioned six Iranian officials for cyber-attacks in the United States and other countries. The new sanctions followed the attack on Jan. 28, 2024, on a U.S. outpost in northeast Jordan along the border abutting Syria and Iraq. Three American soldiers were killed…

Timeline of Proxy Attacks: Iraq, Syria and Jordan

Updated: February 12, 2024
U.S. forces deployed across the Middle East were attacked more than 160 times by pro-Iranian militias during the first four months of the Gaza war—from October 2023 to February 2024—between Israel and Hamas. They faced barrages of drone, rocket, and missile strikes on their positions in Iraq, Syria…

Timeline: Houthi Attacks and U.S. Responses

Updated: February 27, 2024
Tensions soared between the Houthi militia in Yemen and the United States after Houthis seized the crew of a commercial shipping vessel on Nov. 19, 2023. Houthis launched attacks–using drones, missiles, and small boats–on commercial shipping and naval warships in the Red Sea, one of the world’s…

U.S. Allies on Attack in Jordan

Western and Arab allies were quick to support the United States after a drone attack that killed three American soldiers and injured more than 40 U.S. forces at a military outpost in Jordan on Jan. 28, 2024. They were also critical of Iran’s network of proxies and allies that have attacked U.S.…

U.S. on Attack on Americans in Jordan

On Jan. 28, 2024, three U.S. soldiers were killed and more than 40 injured in a drone strike on Tower 22, a military outpost in Jordan abutting the borders of Syria and Iraq. They were the first fatalities after more than 160 attacks on U.S. forces deployed in Iraq, Syria and Jordan since the…

Comments: Iran & Allies on U.S. Forces in Jordan

Tensions flared between the United States and allies of Iran after the drone attack that killed three American soldiers and injured more than 40 at Tower 22, a military outpost in northern Jordan on January 28, 2024. The Biden administration vowed decisive retribution. In response, Iran and its…

U.S. Sanctions Iran’s Qods Force and Hezbollah

On Jan. 31, 2024, the United States imposed financial sanctions on an individual and three entities that were part of a network that helped fund the operations of the Qods Force, the elite unit of the Revolutionary Guards in charge of foreign operations, as well as Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia.…

News Digest: Week of January 29

January 29Diplomacy: Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi met with Syrian Minister of Interior Mohammad Khaled al Rahmoun in Damascus to discuss security coordination and counterterrorism efforts. They reviewed the complex security landscape in Syria and the regional challenges both states face…

U.S. Sanctions Iran’s Qods Force and Houthis

On January 12, 2024, the United States sanctioned foreign companies in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates for shipping goods on behalf of the Houthis, a Yemeni militia supported by the Qods Force, the elite Iranian unit in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that funds, arms and coordinates…

Report: Iran’s Torture, Sexual Assaults & Killings

In its annual report, Human Rights Watch charged that Iran executed more than 700 people in 2023, a significant increase from 2022. It also engaged in mass arrests of human rights and labor activists, lawyers, journalists, students, and artists as well as family members of protestors. Security…

U.S. Sanctions Network Supporting Iran’s Drone Program

On Dec. 19, 2023, the United States sanctioned 10 companies and four men based in Iran, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Indonesia for supporting Iran’s unmanned aerial vehicle program (UAV) program. The network procured components made in the United States and elsewhere worth hundreds of thousands of…