Radical Aims

The Quds Force carries out a range of covert activities outside of Iran's borders. These activities include terror plots and the training, equipping, financing and coordination of various militia organizations around the world:

  • Initiating terror attacks: The organization's commanders prefer to carry out attacks through the deployment of proxy militias, the most prominent of which is Lebanese Hezbollah, though other, separate, organizations such as Iraq-based Kata'eb Hezbollah (the Brigades of the Party of God) are also significant. The Quds Force directly coordinates the actions of some proxy cells. In a break with regular procedure, a number of plots have also been undertaken directly by Iranian operatives over the last two years, for instance in India, Thailand and Kenya. This may be due to a difficulty the Quds Force has faced in mounting attacks in these countries using proxies.
  • Establishing terror infrastructure worldwide: By setting up the operational structures and services required to mount attacks, Iran seeks to be able to spring them into action against the U.S., Israel, Arab and other Western interests in accordance with its strategic considerations at any given moment.
  • Establishing a "resistance" bloc made up of different countries and other actors that oppose the U.S. in particular and the west in general. This includes varied political and military support, including equipping them with weapons.
  • Assisting terror and guerrilla groups, as well as political figures, to carry out subversive activity in countries and regions in which Iran wants to exert influence at the expense of Western nations. Priority is given to countries with significant Shi'ite populations, such as Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and others.
  • Dissemination of Islamic Revolutionary ideology, and providing social services through setting up educational, cultural and charity networks for Muslims, especially Shi'ite-Iranian communities in the Middle East, Western states and elsewhere. This activity is integral to and reinforces subversive and terror activities.
  • Activity against dissident figures and groups opposing the Iranian regime from outside Iran, including assassinations of individuals living and working in the West.
  • Intelligence collection around the world, including in Western countries. The information obtained is used both for Iran's military needs and for conducting terror attacks by the Quds Force and Hezbollah in different countries.