Iran Guards Corps Fears Attack by Israel, fears Hezbollah will be the spark

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Commander fears attack against Iran and warns Hezbollah not to attack Israel for fear of reprisal

AEI resident fellow Ali Alfoneh reveals that a disagreement between the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah was – for a short while – revealed in a story published in a pro-IRGC news outlet, Botia News.

Major General Qassem Suleimani, commander of the IRGC's Quds Force, warned Hezbollah General Secretary Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah against a preemptive strike against Israel: "Any attack would depict them [i.e., Israel] as victims and us as unjust aggressors, which would mobilize the public sympathy for them. This would harm us." (Read the full piece here)

Alfoneh explains that:

  • Tehran fears that the slightest move by Hezbollah against Israel – in an attempt to divert public attention from Syria – could be used by Israel as a pretext to attack Iran.
  •  
  • The story reflects Tehran's unhappiness with Hezbollah's growing independence.
  •  
  • Tehran may also fear that Hezbollah, fearing improvement of relations between Iran and the West, is planning to spoil the Baghdad nuclear negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 Group by launching a preemptive strike against Israel.
  •  

Note: The story about the interview was later removed from all sites.

Ali Alfoneh can be reached at ali.alfoneh@aei.org or through Alex Della Rocchetta at adr@aei.org – 202.862.7152

For media inquiries please contact Jesse Blumenthal at jesse@aei.org or 202.862.4870.

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About the Author

 

Ali
Alfoneh
  • Ali Alfoneh's research areas include civil-military relations in Iran with a special focus on the role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in the Islamic Republic. Mr. Alfoneh has been a research fellow at the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College and has taught political economy at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Southern Denmark.

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