March 23, 2018 | War on the Rocks

Death of a General: What Shaban Nasiri Reveals About Iran’s Secretive Qods Force

One of the most experienced founding members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and its secretive expeditionary Qods Force was Shaban Nasiri – a general who died near Iraq's Mosul last year after stepping on an improvised explosive device. In his latest op-ed for War on the Rocks, Amir Toumaj explains how Nasiri’s decades-long career provides a unique lens through which to better understand the Guard Corps –  including the conception and evolution of both the Qods Force and Badr Organization against the backdrop of the Iranian revolution, the Iran-Iraq war, the Syrian war and rise of the Islamic State.

An excerpt from the op-ed follows:

“Nasiri’s service highlights the origins of two important units of the IRGC, both made up of ethnic Arabs: the 9th Badr Brigade – now known as the Badr Organization — and the Nosrat Base, a military intelligence and operations unit. Nasiri honed the intelligence and operational skills of building an Arab militia, which later qualified him to design the earliest training program of the Qods Force – which mostly operates in the Arab world. As these units served as foundations for the Qods Force, they offer a richer understanding of the evolution of the Islamic Republic’s external operations branch.”

Read the complete piece from War on the Rocks here

Amir Toumaj is a research analyst focused on Iran at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @AmirToumaj.

Follow FDD on Twitter @FDD. FDD is a Washington-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.