Iran has controlled its militias in the region: After Iraq, will the front in Lebanon calm down?

February 19, 2024



After the region witnessed an unprecedented escalation, verging on the brink of an all-out war, a field development occurred yesterday that could alleviate the intensification since the outbreak of the Gaza war on October 7th last year. Multiple Iranian and Iraqi sources informed Reuters yesterday that a visit by the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Ismail Qaani, to Baghdad led to the cessation of attacks by groups allied with Iran in Iraq on U.S. forces, signaling Tehran’s desire to prevent a broader conflict.
Qaani met with representatives of some armed groups at Baghdad airport on January 29th, less than 48 hours after Washington blamed these groups for the killing of three American soldiers at Jordan’s Tower 22 site.

Since February 4th, there have been no attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, compared to more than 20 attacks in the two weeks preceding Qaani’s visit, amid escalating violence by groups opposed to the Israeli war in Gaza.
Observers believe that this move by a prominent figure in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard cannot be divorced from its repercussions on Lebanon. It is known that the Iranian Quds Force includes all external organizations allied with the Islamic Republic, foremost among them Hezbollah.

The question after this development in Iraq is whether its effects could extend to Lebanon. In response, observers recalled the recent visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian to Beirut on February 9th and 10th. The purpose of the visit was reportedly to convey an Iranian message to Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah that “matters between Tehran and Washington are going well, and we agree with the U.S. administration not to escalate the war or turn it into a regional one,” according to Al-Nidaa newspaper.