The Iranian Quds Force (Jerusalem Force) is the organization tasked with Iran's external covert, paramilitary, terrorist and intelligence functions. Quds Force also carries out some diplomatic functions. As the name implies, the Jerusalem Force was organized to capture Jerusalem from Israel. Its leader answers directly to the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as of 2021. The United States has designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Quds Force as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) based on the IRGC’s “continued support to and engagement in terrorist activity around the world.”
The Jerusalem Force was formerly led by Iranian General Qassem Sulemeini until the time of his death in January 2020. In early 2008, the Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, handed a cell phone with a text message to CENTCOM commander and later CIA Director David Petraeus.
|“||Dear General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who’s going to replace him is a Quds Force member.||”|
Soleimani oversaw the Quds Force operatives who plotted the assassination of the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir, in the United States in 2011. Solemeini was designated in May 2011 pursuant to Obama administration Executive Order 13572, targeting human rights abuses in Syria, for his role as the Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force, the primary conduit for Iran's support to the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate (GID).
- "Country Reports on Terrorism 2019".