Intelligence Report: Iran Will Continue Supporting Assad, Palestinian Groups

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  meets with Syrian President Bashar Assad Jan. 15 / AP

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meets with Syrian President Bashar Assad Jan. 15 / AP

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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a report Wednesday that said Iran will continue to support Palestinian groups, Shia militants, and the Syrian Army in 2014.

The report said that although a nuclear deal has been reached, Iran will “continue to act assertively abroad in ways that run counter to U.S. interests and worsen regional conflicts.”

The Islamic Republic has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war and some Iranian officials believe their country’s aid is key to keeping the regime in power.

According to the report:

Iran will continue to act assertively abroad in ways that run counter to US interests and worsen regional
conflicts. Iranian officials almost certainly believe that their support has been instrumental in sustaining Asad’s regime in Syria and will probably continue support during 2014 to bolster the regime. In the broader Middle East, Iran will continue to provide arms and other aid to Palestinian groups, Huthi rebels in Yemen, and Shia militants in Bahrain to expand Iranian influence and to counter perceived foreign threats.

Iran is also looking to expand its influence to Iraq and Afghanistan as well. Tehran will keep promoting a Shia-led, pro-Iran government in Iraq. Iran will likely sponsor pro-Iran presidential candidates in Afghanistan’s upcoming elections “to increase its influence at the expense of the United States.”