Shadow Commander: Iran's Military Mastermind

For decades one Iranian commander has dominated the brutal struggle for power and influence across the Middle East. This film tells the extraordinary story of General Qassem Suleimani with first-hand accounts of his secret deals and shifting alliances across Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

During the Iraq War, Suleimani 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 Suleimani as they both fought to defeat the Islamic State.

“We saw Suleimani as a very capable charismatic, skilled, professionally competent, diabolically evil human being” says General David Petraeus, who was head of US forces in Iraq. With Suleimani now coming out of shadows and taking centre stage in Iran’s strategic ambitions, this film asks whether he is shaping up for a new conflict with the west in the region. “We can see him as the Darth Vader of contemporary middle eastern politics" says US Diplomat Ryan Crocker.

Project Details

  • Client: BBC
  • Director: Sasha Joelle Achilli
  • Producer: Sasha Joelle Achilli
  • Year: 2019


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