Iranian Official Pulls Iraq Strings

    An Iranian flag flutters next to a ground-to-ground Sajil missile before being launched at an undisclosed location in Iran on November 12, 2008. Iran test fired today a new generation of ground-to-ground missile, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted the defence minister as saying. In the past Iran has often boasted of developing new weapons systems only to be met with scepticism from Western defence analysts. AFP PHOTO/FARS NEWS/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

    Fars News / STR / AFP / Getty Images

    Reserved and little known, Qassim Suleimani is the Iranian official behind much of his country’s policy in Iraq and Syria, a role that has sometimes put him on a collision course with American policy in the region. Recently unearthed classified documents provide new insight into the role Suleimani played as general in Iran’s armed forces, especially as the American military in Iraq faced Iranian operatives under his control. Described as “a truly evil figure” in a letter Gen. David H. Petraeus sent to then-Defense secretary Robert M. Gates, Suleimani remains a key figure in the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy as it seeks to further exert its influence in the region.

    Read it at The New York Times