Author Archives: Amir Toumaj

Amir Toumaj is a Research Analyst at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces an ‘important and blessed phenomenon,’ Khamenei says

Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder al Abadi arrived in Tehran today to met with senior Iranian government officials, including Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) is an “important and blessed phenomenon,” Khamenei said. “The reason the Americans oppose the popular forces is because they want Iraq to lose its important factor of strength,” he added.


Qassem Soleimani spotted in Karbala, Iraq

Yesterday, photos emerged on social media of Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force, on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Hussein in Karbala, Iraq, during a holy period in Ramadan. Soleimani was photographed next to his deputy Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the operations commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force (PMF), which was enshrined into a legal and separate military corps last year, thus technically making Muhandis a government official.




Qassem Soleimani spotted near the Syrian border with Iraqi militias

Major General Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Guard Corps’ Qods Force, has been photographed allegedly with Iranian-backed Iraqi militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the northwestern countryside of Iraq near the Syrian border. The photo’s precise location and date are yet unconfirmed; however it surfaced on May 29.


The Revolutionary Guard’s long shadow over Iran’s presidential election

Iranians head to the polls today to choose between “bad and worse” in yet another unfair-and-unfree presidential election. The primary challenger, Ebrahim Raisi – who is considered a frontrunner to succeed Khamenei – has received the support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – the protector of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s Islamic revolution who have long cast a dark shadow over the country.


Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces launch operation southwest of Mosul

Backed by the Iraqi air force, The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the umbrella organization of diverse militias, launched an offensive this week in Nineveh Province, southwest of Mosul, to capture territory from the Islamic State. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has embedded operatives in the PMF.


Qods Force commander to advance Tehran’s influence as ambassador to Iraq

An Iranian general from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) this week began his new position as Tehran’s ambassador to Iraq. The selection of Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi, the senior adviser to the commander of the IRGC extraterritorial branch the Qods Force, highlights Tehran’s strategy to assert itself as the dominant foreign power in its western neighbor following the Mosul campaign. Since 2003 all Iranian ambassadors to Iraq have been Qods Force officers.