Does Soleimani’s Death Matter? Findings from a 2019 Workshop

Author
Michael Knights
Content Type
Special Report
Institution
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Abstract
Last year’s Washington Institute forum on post-Soleimani succession suggested that the IRGC would lose a unique coordinating capability and its most important totem once he left the scene. Last April, The Washington Institute held a closed-door roundtable to discuss the potential impact if Qassem Soleimani no longer commanded the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. Governed by the Chatham House rule, participants discussed how succession might work in the Qods Force and what Iran would lose if Soleimani became permanently unavailable, reaching consensus on many key issues. Now that the commander is indeed gone, their conclusions can help policymakers navigate the stormy seas ahead, though some aspects of his importance remain a matter of heated debate.
Topic
Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Conflict, Qassem Soleimani
Political Geography
Iraq, Iran, Middle East