The Islamic Republic of Iran has experienced a number of serious counterintelligence screw ups over the years. final month, Iran and Russia, a close ally of the Islamic regime, signed a pact that should support it as it attempts to reform its counterintelligence. Writes Dr. Ardavan Khoshnood
The Islamic Republic of Iran has an extensive and complicated intelligence equipment. Its two most essential intelligence institutions are the Ministry of Intelligence (MOI) and the intelligence arm of the Islamic progressive take care of Corps (IRGC). a 3rd key intelligence firm is the IRGC's Intelligence coverage company, which operates independently of the Corps's intelligence arm and offers in counterintelligence.
while Iran's intelligence organizations are smartly fitted and have completed vital successes (in particular within the enviornment of indicators intelligence, or SIGINT), the country's intelligence apparatus is poor with recognize to counterintelligence, or "intelligence insurance policy" as the regime has renamed it. The three most contemporary counterintelligence failures—all of them devastating— worried the assassination of Quds force chief Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, the slaying of al-Qaeda´s number 2 on Iranian soil, and the assassination in Tehran of the architect of the Iranian nuclear application, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
After al-Qaeda´s 2nd in line, Abu Muhammad al-Masri, became assassinated allegedly by way of Israel's Mossad in Tehran, I argued that the weak spot of Iran´s counterintelligence become going to compel the regime to reform its counterintelligence. To achieve this, it changed into likely to flip to Russia and China.
final month, in January 2021, Iranian FM Muhammad Javad Zarif made yet a different discuss with to Moscow to meet together with his counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. Zarif has traveled to Russia greater than 30 instances, illuminating the Islamic Republic's outstanding dependence on that nation. What made his most recent seek advice from colossal was the signing with the aid of the nations of a protection treaty.
Lavrov instructed Russian information company TASS: "We [Russia and Iran] have signed an intergovernmental contract on cooperation in guaranteeing assistance safety." He did not give additional particulars. Iran, besides the fact that children, noted by way of the Islamic Republic news company (IRNA) that the contract concerned collaboration with respect to "assistance, crimes committed via suggestions and communications expertise, aids in technology, overseas cooperation, together with reconnaissance, coordination, and crucial cooperation for regional and foreign communities to assure country wide and overseas security."
while the contract ostensibly goals to increase collaboration between the international locations in the container of cyber security, the Tasnim information agency, which has strong links to the IRGC, spoke of, "the head of Iran's Civil protection corporation…unveiled plans for joint cooperation specializing in the trade of intelligence, interaction towards threats, and joint defense." The Iranian Ministry of foreign Affairs brought up in an announcement that Iran and Russia had signed an "counsel protection Cooperation Pact" and that some of the pursuits of the pact is the "strengthening [of] information security."
whereas counsel safety and cyber security are the contract's main goals, scholars of intelligence studies are smartly aware of the close connection between counsel security and counterintelligence. Many would argue that information protection is indeed the leading goal of counterintelligence (or "intelligence insurance policy," to make use of the Islamic regime's time period). Cyber intelligence is considered through many intelligence agencies to be a counterintelligence subject.
The Iran-Russia pact isn't a surprise. more than a yr has passed considering the killing of Soleimani and 6 months have gone by due to the fact al-Masri's assassination. The Iranian intelligence organizations have had lots of time to investigate their counterintelligence equipment, confront its large weaknesses, and latest their findings to policy makers. There is not any doubt that the fresh killing of Fakhrizadeh, which became a large embarrassment for the regime, intensified this process. here's especially true in view of the indisputable fact that the Iranian undercover agent chief currently claimed in an interview that the Fakhrizadeh assassination become organized by using a member of the Iranian military—which, if genuine, suggests that Iranian intelligence and counterintelligence aren't handiest poor but compromised. The regime needs aid in these areas, and the Iran-Russia suggestions protection pact may be its foremost capacity of effecting cruc ial reforms.
Dr. Ardavan Khoshnood, a non-resident affiliate on the BESA core, is a criminologist and political scientist with a degree in Intelligence evaluation. he's also an associate professor of Emergency drugs at Lund tuition in Sweden.