Within hours of the U.S. airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani on January 3, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei announced the appointment of a successor to head the Revolutionary Guards' secretive Quds Force.
The speed of the announcement appeared to be aimed at sending a message of continuity. "The force's mission is exactly the same as it was under the command of the martyr Soleimani," Khamenei said.
If the Quds Force's mission doesn't change, as the supreme leader suggests, its work will likely be based on the histories and influences that have acted on its commanders -- including its new one, Ismail Qaani.
Here is a look at some of those complex influences within the Quds Force.
Quds within Iran's Armed Forces.
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