• On June 19, 2016, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif removed Hossein-Amir bdollahian, deputy foreign minister for Arab-African affairs, from his post and replaced him with Hossein Jaberi Ansari, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman. The move raised speculations about possible changes in Iran’s regional policies, especially regarding Syria.
  • At least four more Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) fighters were killed in Syria during the past two weeks.
  • The Iranian media reported that Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, had recently returned to southern Aleppo in the wake of intensified fighting. His arrival is apparently related to the battles between the Syrian army and the Al-Nusra Front-led Al-Fateh Army, currently being waged in the villages south of the city. Soleimani returned to Iraq in the last few days.
  • Last week Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council for National Security, went to Moscow, where he met with senior Russian officials to discuss recent developments in Syria.
  • In a speech marking 40 days since the death of Hezbollah operative Mustafa Badr al-Din, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the organization received its funding from Iran, as it received the missiles it used to threaten Israel. In response, a spokesman for the IRGC said Iran’s support for the struggle against Israel was not a secret.
  • On July 1, 2016, Iran marked Global Jerusalem Day. The event was initiated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, and its objective is to express the support of Iran and the entire Muslim world for the Palestinian cause and the “liberation of Jerusalem.” On the eve of Global Jerusa
  • Iran strongly criticized Bahrain’s decision to revoke the citizenship of senior Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Issa Qassim.
  • Bahrain claimed the sheikh exploited his status as Bahraini citizen to “serve foreign interests” and preach separatism and violence. In a strongly worded and exceptional statement, Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, warned the Bahrain authorities that continued “mistreatment” of the sheikh was liable to lead to an armed uprising and the overthrow of the regime.

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