Al Arabiya, 20 Jan 2012 - Commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Brig. Gen. Qasem Soleimani has said that the Islamic Republic controls “one way or another” over Iraq and south Lebanon and that Tehran is capable of influencing the advent of Islamist governments in order to fight “arrogant” powers, ISNA student agency reported on Thursday.
“The enemies are trying to besiege the Islamic Republic of Iran, but this symposium is an opportunity for thousands of youth who play an influential role in the Islamic awareness to travel Iran and shed sensitivities of Iran-phobia by observing the an Islamic government founded on religious principles in Iran,” Gen. Soleimani, who reports directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said.
Speaking about Iran and Lebanon, Gen. Soleimani said: “These regions are one way or another subject to the control of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its ideas.”
Gen. Soleimani was speaking during a student symposium titled “The Youth and Islamic Awareness.”
The Quds Force, established during the Iran-Iraq war, is in charge of external security operations aimed at exporting the Islamic Revolution.
In January 2012, UK’s The Guardian reported that the head of Iran’s Quds force had conveyed a message to U.S. CIA director David Petraeus telling him that he was in charge of Iran’s policy in the region.
“General Petraeus, you should know that Qassem Suleimani controls the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who’s going to replace him is a Quds Force member,” The Guardian reported.
Petraeus had admitted that most of U.S. diplomatic efforts in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East were undermined by the work of Suleimani, according to the Guardian.
Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq’s former national security minister, told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper in July 2010, “He (Suleimani) is the most powerful man in Iraq without question,” “Nothing gets done without him.”