Our regional intelligence and security experts discuss the latest developments and security posture in Iraq and Iran. Regional intelligence manager, Fahim Masoud, first talks about who Qassem Soleimani was and why his death is significant, what the trigger was for killing him, what Iran's options are in terms of retaliatory responses and what has happened thus far, what the fallout is from the US' action, and finally, what regional security implications can be expected. Then, Sr. Security Advisor, Tony Roccaforte, provides security advice and tips for those operating in the regions affected. 

 

 

Soleimani’s death on January 3rd came a few days after hundreds of Shi'a militia supporters stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad, which prompted the US to deploy additional security forces to the region. Soleimani's death is the most consequential political event in the Middle East since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and will likely prove to be a watershed moment in the history of the region; it will also prove to be one of the most destabilizing events. Given the heightened tensions, the US military, as well as the armed forces of several countries throughout the Middle East, have been placed on high alert. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Israel, which have been targeted with drones and missiles in the past, will almost certainly heighten security measures throughout their major cities, sensitive military bases, and key infrastructure sites. A conventional war with Iran does not appear likely, as the Iranian regime wants to survive and its conventional weaponry and equipment are outdated.

Organizations operating in the Middle East need to be preparing for every contingency; not only those operating in central and southern Iraq but also in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, eastern and southern Saudi Arabia and other pockets of the region where Iran is competing for influence. WorldAware is advising clients operating in the region to start formulating an exit strategy and consider evacuating non-essential personnel. Organizations should plan to depart while commercial air is still available and advise personnel to brace for an increased security posture in the region.

Stay informed with our intelligence alerts on increased tensions between the US and Iran.

 

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