Case Studies in Iranian Expansion across the Middle East: Imam Ali Training Facility, Iran

May 15, 2019

Weapon Program: 

  • Military

Author: 

Seth G. Jones, Nicholas Harrington, and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.

Publication: 

Center for Strategic and International Studies

As U.S.-Iranian tensions escalate in the Middle East, it is important to take a close look at Iran’s primary irregular force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF). The IRGC-QF is instrumental in helping Iran expand its influence in the Middle East and other regions. It engages in a wide range of activity, such as gathering intelligence; training, equipping, and funding state and non-state partner forces; conducting assassinations and bombings; perpetrating cyberattacks; and providing humanitarian and economic aid. The IRGC-QF has partners in countries like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bahrain.

In an effort to better understand IRGC-QF and broader Iranian activities, this analysis examines satellite imagery of the Imam Ali training facility, west of Tehran. Satellite imagery acquired in 2019 shows that locations like Imam Ali, which is on the northeast outskirts of the city of Qods, allow Iran to train and advise partner forces from across the region.

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Read the full report at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.