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Qassem Suleimani is the Iranian operative who has been reshaping the Middle East. Now he’s directing Assad’s war in Syria.
By Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, available online now and in the Sept. 30, 2013 issue
[....] Several Middle Eastern officials, some of whom I have known for a decade, stopped talking the moment I brought up Suleimani. “We don’t want to have any part of this,” a Kurdish official in Iraq said. Among spies in the West, he appears to exist in a special category, an enemy both hated and admired: a Middle Eastern equivalent of Karla, the elusive Soviet master spy in John le Carré’s novels. When I called Dagan, the former Mossad chief, and mentioned Suleimani’s name, there was a long pause on the line. “Ah,” he said, in a tone of weary irony, “a very good friend.” [....]
This is long read (10 1/4 pages), but if you are interested in understanding current goings on in Iran, Syria and Iraq, as well as their neighbors, and the truth of U.S.'s relationship with Iran for decades, you need to read it.