On 16 January, in response to an ISIS backed terror attack in Kerman, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched missile strikes in Iraq and Syria followed by strikes against a Pakistani based terror group. This force projection is a stark shift in Tehran’s posture and has escalated tensions with the Iraqi and Pakistani governments. Despite its continued support for the Axis of Resistance, Iran continues to message that it does not seek direct involvement in the war in Gaza. However, with increasing tensions between Iranian-aligned Hezbollah and Israel, and between Yemen’s Houthis and the UK and US, the strikes are raising fears of further regionalization of the conflict.
With preparations for the 45th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution underway amidst security concerns following a deadly terrorist attack in early January, and economic pressures from continuing sanctions, Iran’s leadership’s may not have the appetite for deeper involvement in the conflict.
Key questions include:
- How likely is it that Iran will take further action and what shape might it take?
- How has Iran’s regional strategy shifted since the start of the war in Gaza?
- How is Iran influencing actions by the Axis of Resistance?
- What are the considerations of Iran’s leadership ahead of the 45th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and amidst domestic security and economic concerns?
- What can we expect from the US response ahead of November’s presidential election?
This event is part of Chatham House’s ongoing work focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict.