Four years ago, the US launched a drone strike that led to the assassination of Kasem Soleimani, a prominent military commander who was at the head of Iran’s covert operations. Soleimani was widely recognized in the Middle East and had gained a cult-like following among his troops. He used his Quds Force to expand Iran’s military influence in the Arab world by placing it at the center of a network of regional militias.
Soleimani’s successor, Ismail Kenny, has taken a different approach to leadership. Rather than focusing on expanding Iran’s military power, Kenny has been working behind the scenes to consolidate Iran’s existing militias under its control. This strategy is aimed at avoiding further regional flare-ups that could drag the US into a wider conflict by hitting American bases.
Kenny is committed to ensuring that attacks against Israeli and American bases do not trigger a wider war. The US assassination of Soleimani was an attempt to undermine Iran’s chain of command, but it only served to strengthen Kenny’s resolve to maintain order in the region.
In response to Soleimani’s death, Iranian officials went to Iraq to reassure their allies and ensure that there was no escalation of hostilities. U.S. officials denied any involvement in the attack and argued that there was no evidence linking Iran directly to it. Despite this, tensions between the two countries remain high as they continue their rivalry for dominance in the region.
As senior government officials from both countries work tirelessly to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, it remains unclear whether their efforts will be successful or if another violent confrontation is imminent on the horizon.