In Brief: Revolutionary Guards tighten grip as Iran looks to elections

A number of potential presidential candidates in Iran have emerged out of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), raising concerns regarding the further militarisation of the country’s politics. Hopefuls have until Saturday to formally register their status as a candidate ahead of the election on 18 June. Their names will then be handed to the[…]

In Brief: Iranian foreign minister laments IRGC influence

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has offered a glimpse into Iran’s internal power struggles in a leaked recording, claiming that the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) dominates governmental decision-making. Zarif claimed that IRGC commander Qassim Suleimani, who was killed by the United States in January 2020, had consistently undermined him, working with Russia to[…]

In Brief: Hezbollah member gets five life terms for murder of former Lebanese PM

A United Nations special tribunal last Friday sentenced a member of Hezbollah to five life sentences for his role in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hairi. Hairi (pictured), who was murdered in a bomb attack on his motorcade, had been attempting to curtail Syrian influence in Lebanon. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group,[…]

In Brief: Hezbollah’s popularity dropping sharply in Lebanon, suggests poll

Hezbollah’s popularity has dropped sharply in Lebanon – even among its core Shia supporters, a new poll has suggested. The percentage of Shia who say they have a “very positive” opinion of Hezbollah, while still a majority, is almost 20 points lower than it was in late 2017. “This trend almost certainly reflects increasing anger[…]

Analysis: From “No, No, No” to “Yes”; Sudan is latest state to normalise relations with Israel

  Sudan has become the latest Arab nation to seek to normalise its relationship with Israel. The agreement was announced during a call between Benjamin Netanyahu, President Trump and Sudan’s Sovereign Council president, General Abdel Fattah al- Burhan, and prime minister Abdalla Hamdok. The announcement – which follows the signing last month of the Abraham[…]

LFI Chair writes to Foreign Secretary re: Iran arms embargo expiry

Steve McCabe MP, Chair of Labour Friends of Israel, has written a letter to the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab MP, expressing deep concern about the lifting of the UN arms embargo on Iran. In the letter, Steve McCabe expresses his huge disappointment that it has “not been possible to secure international consensus to extend the arms[…]

Analysis: The arms embargo on Iran ends this weekend – what next? 

A decade-old ban on the sale of conventional arms to Iran will come to an end this Sunday, potentially opening the way for Russia and China to assist the Islamic Republic in a major, potentially hugely destabilising, expansion and advancement of its military capability. Since 2010, the supply of a host of weaponry – including[…]

In Brief: Lebanon and Israel aim to tackle maritime dispute in first talks in 30 years

Officials representing Israel and Lebanon sat down for their first talks in three decades this week. The discussions, hosted by the United Nations and mediated by the US, took place close to the border between Israel and Lebanon. Although sat in the same room, the Lebanese have insisted they will not speak directly to the Israelis.[…]

In brief: Hamas and Hezbollah to maintain an ‘axis of resistance’ against Israel

The Hezbollah-run Al-Manar TV announced on Sunday that leaders of Hezbollah and the Hamas met to discuss the consequences of diplomatic normalisation between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates. The meeting comes on the back of US President Donald Trump announcing Israel and the UAE agreeing to normalise relations, including the establishment of direct[…]

In Brief: Israel and Hezbollah in clash on northern border after Syria airstrike

Israel successfully repelled a Hezbollah attack on its northern border on Monday amid rising tensions between the Jewish state and the Iranian-backed terror group. A spokesperson for the IDF said about five Hezbollah operatives had crossed several metres into Israel in the Har Dov area, also known as Shaba Farms, in the Golan Heights. The[…]

In Brief: Drop the “false distinction” between Hezbollah wings, EU urged

LFI chair Steve McCabe has joined more than 200 fellow politicians in calling for the European Union to drop its “false distinction” between Hezbollah’s military and political wings. The letter was organised by the recently formed group Transatlantic Friends of Israel which brings together European and American politicians. David Schwammenthal of the American Jewish Committee, who[…]