Al Qaeda and Iran formed an alliance during the 1990s in which Hezbollah trained al Qaeda operatives. After the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Iran evacuated hundreds of al Qaeda personnel from Afghanistan, allowing the formation of an al Qaeda “management council” on Iranian soil. While some al Qaeda operatives were allowed to act freely, others were placed under house arrest. Even though Iran has assisted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in fighting Sunni insurgents during the sectarian Syrian civil war, al Qaeda and Islamic State insurgents are reportedly “under orders not to attack inside Iran in order to preserve their supply network there”. In 2014, there was speculation that Iran might sever its ties with al Qaeda in return for a deal with the West regarding its nuclear program.