HOT BLAST: Iran shaking down Iraq to support Syria, report says
Sep 30, 2013 | 1399 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly earlier this month.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly earlier this month. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
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Dexter Filkins profiles "Major General Qassem Suleimani, the Quds Force’s leader: a small man of fifty-six, with silver hair, a close-cropped beard, and a look of intense self-containment" in a recent issue of The New Yorker.

The articles goes in vast detail to describe Suleimani's success at exporting terrorism across much of the world:

Suleimani has orchestrated attacks in places as far flung as Thailand, New Delhi, Lagos, and Nairobi—at least thirty attempts in the past two years alone. The most notorious was a scheme, in 2011, to hire a Mexican drug cartel to blow up the Saudi Ambassador to the United States as he sat down to eat at a restaurant a few miles from the White House. The cartel member approached by Suleimani’s agent turned out to be an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (The Quds Force appears to be more effective close to home, and a number of the remote plans have gone awry.) Still, after the plot collapsed, two former American officials told a congressional committee that Suleimani should be assassinated. “Suleimani travels a lot,” one said. “He is all over the place. Go get him. Either try to capture him or kill him.” In Iran, more than two hundred dignitaries signed an outraged letter in his defense; a social-media campaign proclaimed, “We are all Qassem Suleimani.” 

More troubling is reporting that claims Iran has claimed Iraq as a colonial state, and is shaking it down to fund the Assad government in the Syrian civil war:

The other main source of revenue for the Iranians is oil, officials say: Maliki’s government sets aside the equivalent of two hundred thousand barrels of oil a day—about twenty million dollars’ worth, at current prices—and sends the money to Suleimani. In this way, the Quds Force has made itself immune to the economic pressures of Western sanctions. “It’s a self-funding covert-action program,” the former senior intelligence officer said. “Suleimani doesn’t even need the Iranian budget to fund his operations.” 
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