The Shadow Commander

Pages: 320
Subject: Current Affairs, Middle East, History
Imprint: Oneworld

The Shadow Commander

Soleimani, the US and Iran’s Global Ambitions

Arash Azizi

Reveals how Qassem Soleimani became the military mastermind who established Iran as a major power in the Middle East
9781786079442 (19 Nov 2020)
RRP £18.99 / US$27.95

The Book

Until his assassination by US drone strike in January 2020, commander Qassem Soleimani was one of the most powerful men in Iran and the military spearhead for Iranian foreign policy, enacting the wishes of the country's Supreme Leader in the region. A widely popular but also feared maverick operator, he helped to establish the Islamic Republic as a major force in the Middle East, with interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. This was a long way from where he began as a youth, living on the margins in a country ruled by a monarch supported by the United States.

In this highly readable account, historian Arash Azizi examines Soleimani's life, regional influence and future ambitions. The Shadow Commander breaks new ground through interviews with Iranians, Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians who knew Soleimani for years, including his personal driver, the aides who accompanied him to his Moscow meeting with Vladimir Putin, and his brother. Ultimately, Azizi uses the story of this one important figure to make sense of the global ambitions of Iran, a country whose actions are much talked about but seldom understood.

Additional Information

Subject Current Affairs, Middle East, History
Pages 320
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Arash Azizi is a historian at New York University where he researches the transnational links that tied Iran and the Arab World during the Cold War. His writings have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, and several of his book-length translations have appeared in Iran and elsewhere. He lives in New York City. @arash_tehran