The January 3 killing of Major General Qassim Suleimani, commander of the expeditionary Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, brought the Quds Force further to the forefront of the Islamic Republic’s “maximum resistance” campaign to counter the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign. However, the new Quds Force leadership is not only inheriting a military organization stretched thin over a vast geographic area but also faces greater public hostility against the Islamic Republic and its allies in places like Iraq, the main arena of rivalry between the United States and Iran.
How is the killing of Suleimani likely to change Iran’s grand strategy and Quds Force operations in Iraq and beyond? Who is Ismail Qaani, the new commander of the Quds Force, and how is he likely to approach these challenges and adapt his organization to the changed circumstances?
Ali Alfoneh, Senior Fellow, AGSIW
Kori Schake, Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
General Joseph L. Votel, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Hussein Ibish, Senior Resident Scholar, AGSIW