Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif is, in a sense, more of a true believer than many in the Revolutionary Guard. He genuinely appears to be under the illusion that the ideals of the Islamic Republic still have popular support and that Iran should rely on them instead of brute force. Few in the IRGC seem to harbor such illusions.
The daughter of Iran’s former president has publicly broken two of the Islamic Republic’s biggest political taboos. Does this reveal a genuine split at the top or mere maneuvering by political elites?
Despite the differences between Saddam and Soleimani, the commonalities were striking. Both men had caused enormous suffering. Both were defiant, and simply too large to die. Yet both were shown to be vincible.
The height of Iran’s influence — at least as presently expressed through the IRGC — has probably passed. Whether we’ve entered a period of stasis or decline is as yet unclear, but the latter seems more probable.
Although Husham al-Hashimi helped the Iraqi government understand and hunt down ISIS terrorists, his last secret research project was on the criminality and extremism of Shiite militias. They assassinated him for it.