The threat of an Iranian land bridge through Iraq and Syria—measured both in established influence and its physical presence—has become a reality. IRGC-directed militias—belonging to the Fattah party—have operational primacy across Syria and in Iraq, the militias are now integrated into U.S.-funded and -equipped Iraqi security forces. As a result, Iran has successfully established an environment conducive to its objectives throughout the Levant. With no military forces broadly obstructing Iran’s strategic movement in the region, the country’s influence continues to grow unchecked and could prove further destabilizing. With upcoming parliamentary elections in Lebanon, Hezbollah is poised to make greater gains, while in the Iraqi Parliamentary elections, the IRGC-supported Fattah party will be instrumental in deciding the next Prime Minister and who controls the security and infrastructure ministries.
On April 26, Hudson hosted a panel to discuss Iran’s growing regional influence and assess the capabilities and willingness of U.S. partner forces to disrupt Iran’s regional aspirations. The panel consisted of Jennifer Cafarella, a senior intelligence planner at the Institute for the Study of War; Michael Pregent, an adjunct fellow at Hudson Institute; Dr. Ranj Alaaldin, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Doha; and Michael Knights, a Lafer Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
To view Mr. Pregent’s slides, click here.