Shadow Commander: Iran's Military Mastermind

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Shadow Commander: Iran's Military Mastermind


You may not have heard of Qassem Soleimani, but this authoritative profile makes a fascinating introduction to a figure with almost mythical status across swathes of the Middle East. US general David Petraeus describes him as a “charismatic, skilled, professionally competent” and then adds “diabolically evil human being”.

Soleimani commands the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard but is clearly no ordinary general, with a hand as puppet master on behalf of Iran’s strategic ambitions across Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. One interviewee calls him, provocatively, “the Darth Vader of contemporary Middle-Eastern politics”.


For decades Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani has dominated the brutal struggle for power and influence across the Middle East. During the Iraq War he is said to have smuggled thousands of sophisticated bombs into the country, arming the Shia militias who killed hundreds of British and American troops. But just a few years later the western coalition found themselves on the same side as Soleimani as they both fought to defeat the Islamic State. This documentary includes first-hand accounts of his secret deals and shifting alliances across Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

Cast & Crew

Reporter Jane Corbin
Director Sasha Joelle Achilli
Executive Producer Sarah Waldron
Producer Sasha Joelle Achilli