The International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah) has translated into Arabic Temperature Rising: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Wars in the Middle East written by Nader Uskowi, an Iranian-American scholar, a subject matter expert on the Islamic Republic of Iran and its military. Stemming from his broad experience, Uskowi wrote a well-detailed book based on measures to assess the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its weight in the Iranian political system, its expansionary influence and the rising tensions it has created in the region.
The first chapter entitled, “Iran at War: The Push for Primacy in the Middle East,” explains how Iran seeks to spread its dominance in the Middle East, especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. It also reviews Iran’s covert operations in Afghanistan, Israel’s northern front, and the activities of its proxy-militias on the Yemeni border with Saudi Arabia. The second chapter entitled, “The Shia Liberation Army,” provides readers with insights into the formation and arming of Iranian militias and their transformation into one multinational expeditionary army deployed to battle out of their home countries for Iran. The multinational militias were persuaded by money and trained by the Quds Force.
The third chapter entitled, “The Years of Revolution and War,” reviews the Shia role in the Iran-Iraq War and the creation of Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as how the Quds Force exploited “the Shia militia organizations to conduct a number of terrorist attacks on foreign soil outside the war zones.” The fourth chapter entitled “Gateways to Afghanistan and Iraq” provides readers with a detailed view of how senior Quds Force and IRGC officers played a key role in planning and coordinating anti-Taliban operations in conjunction with the Northern Alliance commanders, following the September 11 attacks.
The fifth chapter, “Uprisings, Civil Wars, and Insurgencies,” reviews the Syrian civil war; the battle for Iraq; sectarian ethnic fault lines; post-Daesh Iraq; the plans of the Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani to establish a Shia-led government taking the lead in Yemen, a country bordering Saudi Arabia. The sixth chapter entitled, “Land Corridor to Syria,” provides readers with detailed analysis and a view of the Battle of Aleppo and the Quds Force dream to establish “a Shia nation unified by its militant anti-Western and anti-Israeli ideology.” The seventh chapter entitled, “The Iraqi Campaign” reviews the roles of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and other Shia militias in battle field. The eighth chapter, “Sanaa Calling,” analyses the insurgency of the Houthis against the government of Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the complex relationship between the Houthis and Saleh which led the Houthis to capture Sanaa. Moreover, it reviews Houthi attacks on the Mandeb Strait and their ballistic missile attacks against Saudi Arabia. The ninth chapter entitled, “Unfinished Business in Afghanistan,” reviews the role of the Quds Force and the Taliban in the post-September 11 period and the Quds Force recruitment of Afghani Shias. The tenth chapter entitled, “Resourcing the Quds Force Regional Campaigns,” details the broad military logistic networks of the IRGC, including the missile force, the cyber capabilities, and financial support network run by foundations and businesses under the IRGC. The eleventh chapter entitled, “Long Road, Uncertain Future,” reviews the operational challenges the Quds Force faces and Iran’s changing role in the region, here Uskowi concludes that, “Iran believes that any gains by the US, Israel, or the Sunni Arab governments constitute a loss for Iran, and vice versa.” Finally, Uskowi succeeds in analyzing and forecasting the future of the Quds Force, highlighting that the revolutionary project is challenged by many threats. Apparently, Iran’s military strategy will not help her survive in a destabilizing region, leading her to a military confrontation with world and regional powers.