Iran and its Proxies

Some of Iran’s proxies in the Middle East include Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, Hamas in Gaza, the Houthis in Yemen, and others. Where its proxies have not been able to take root, Iran has engaged in subversive activities via the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to undermine its rivals and enhance its influence. Iran’s quest for regional dominance has created tremendous instability in the region and inflamed wars that have left thousands dead.


Hassan Nasrallah


Naim Qassem

Deputy Secretary-General

Mustafa Badreddine

Military Commander (deceased)

Hashem Safieddine

Head of Executive Assembly

Ismail Haniyeh

Chief of Political Bureau, former deputy leader of Hamas, Hamas’s former prime minister of Gaza, former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority

Moussa Mohammed Abu Marzouk

Member of Hamas’s Political Bureau; deputy leader of Diaspora Office

Yahya Sinwar

Leader of the Gaza Strip Political Bureau of Hamas

Mohammed Deif

Chief of Hamas's military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades

Saleh al-Arouri

Deputy chair of Hamas’s political bureau; West Bank leader

Khaled Meshaal

Head of Hamas’s Diaspora Office; Deputy Leader; Former Chief of Hamas’s Political Bureau

Qais al-Khazali

Founder, secretary-general

Akram Al-Kaabi

Co-founder; former commander of Syrian branch

Founder and secretary-general

Hassan Salem

Chair of AAH’s political bloc, al-Sadiqun

Hadi al-Amiri

Leader and secretary-general

Karim al-Nouri

Former spokesman

Ahmad al-Hamidawi


Ali Khamenei

Supreme Leader of Iran, Former President of Iran, Shiite cleric

Hossein Salami

Commander-in-chief of the IRGC

Ismail Ghaani

Commander of the Quds Force

Qasem Soleimani

Commander of the Quds Force (deceased)

Gholamhossein Gheybparvar

Commander of the IRGC’s Imam Ali Central Security Headquarters

Mohammad Reza Naqdi

Deputy coordinator of the IRGC

Mohammad Ali Jafari

Director, Hazrat-e Baqiatollah Social and Cultural Base; former commander of the IRGC

News and Blogs

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On May 8, 2019, Taliban insurgents detonated an explosive-laden vehicle and then broke into American NGO Counterpart International’s offices in Kabul. At least seven people were killed and 24 were injured.

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