Iran’s Proxy War Against Israel

Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf project at Columbia University. He can be reached at rafizadeh@fas.harvard.edu. Follow Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.


ayatollah_2146641bWhile the mainstream media has focused solely on Hamas and Israel in the current ongoing war, there has been less attention given to the major role that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been playing in ratcheting up the conflict with its military assistance to Hamas fighters, including Iranian-built Fajr 5 and M-75 with ranges of approximately 75 kilometers.

These are missiles and rockets that can target cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

It is worth noting that the export of arms as well as military and weaponry assistance by the Islamic Republic to Hamas is legally prohibited by the United Nations Security Council, written in UN Resolution 1747.

Although Iranian leaders often deny that they are supporting Hamas militarily, some, including former Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, admitted that the Islamic Republic has been supplying military aid and technology to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. On the Iranian parliament’s website, Larijani stated, “We are honored to provide the Palestinian people with military aid, while all Arabic countries do is hold meetings. Palestinian people do not need lectures and meetings.”

In addition, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Mohammad, Ali Jafari, admitted that Iran is supplying weapons to Hamas and other groups: “Iran provides technical assistance to all Muslims who fight against world arrogance.”

What is Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s stance? Is he truly a moderate? Rouhani’s stance on arming Hamas and standing against Israel is no different from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Iranian president recently projected Iran’s leadership by calling Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and pointing out that tthe Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, and the international community, ought to take immediate and serious steps to assist Hamas and the Palestinians.

After all, Iranian presidents are all loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In fact, across Iran’s political spectrum, there is no difference with regard to their position towards arming Hamas and fighting Israel. They all share anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinians views. In addition, whenever the international community or the United States has attempted to broker a peace, Iranian leaders have attempted to scuttle it. Their view is the same as what Ahmadinejad previously conveyed:  “Who gave them [Mahmoud Abbas’ negotiating team] the right to sell a piece of Palestinian land? The people of Palestine and the people of the region will not allow them to sell even an inch of Palestinian soil to the enemy. The negotiations are stillborn and doomed.”

The Iranian leaders hypocritically and frequently point out that the reasons they support the Palestinians and Hamas are humanitarian. Nevertheless, the main reason is advancing Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions and its strategic, geopolitical and ideological goals.

In addition, the Islamic Republic has been seeking to project its regional hegemonic supremacy by supporting not only Shiite groups such as Hezbollah (Lebanon), Bashar Al Assad (Syria), and Nori Al Maliki (Iraq), but also penetrating the Sunni communities and supporting groups such as Hamas.

Since the Islamic revolution in Iran, the main foreign policy objectives of the Islamic Republic have been rivalry and antagonism towards the United Sates and its ally Israel.

The Islamic Republic attempted to find or create any group possible to stand against US foreign policy in the region (as well as those of Israel), in order to advance Tehran’s ideological, strategic and geopolitical objectives in the region.

The major force in Iran supporting Hamas are the Quds forces, an elite branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps which fight abroad, under the leadership of Khamenei and headed by Qasem Suleimani.

Another admission from the Islamic Republic on arming Hamas came from its own press, surprisingly. Last week, Javan newspaper, an Iranian state newspaper, stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in which a consensus on the Palestinian issue exists between the regime and its people. Together with popular support for the Palestinian fighters, the [Iranian] regime also provides important aid to the Palestinian fighters, including military weaponry… This measure by the Islamic Republic – arming the Palestinian groups – is carried out publicly, and not in secret, and has even been publicly emphasized by the leader [Khamenei],” according to Algemeiner and MEMRI’s translation of the Persian text.

Accordingly, the Islamic Republic has also provided Hamas with Fajr 5 missiles and Abadil drones before the war.

Across Iran’s political spectrum, Iranian leaders follow the words of the founder of this theocratic regime, Iran’s former Supreme Leader, Ayatollah and Ali Khomeini, who repeatedly attempted to rally people against Israel and the United States, “To liberate Qods [Jerusalem], Muslims should use faith-dependent machine guns and the power of Islam and keep away from political games which reek of compromise… Muslim nations, especially the Palestinian and Lebanese nations, should punish those who waste time indulging in political maneuvers.”

Under the presidency of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s foreign policy has not shifted and it is crucial to draw attention to Iran’s intervention and military assistance as the Islamic Republic is major player in ratcheting up the ongoing war.

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  • EvaKJones

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  • Pete

    I don’t think the LIV get the concept wars by proxy or care.

  • Evermyrtle

    While Islamic nations are against the USA and Israel, and while Israel befriends the USA, the USA blames Israel for all the world’ problems. While rocket are falling in Israel, coming from their enemy, Israel is supposed to sit back and not defend themselves, this is what Obama has turned America into. If rockets should begin to drop into America, sent from these fine people, the antichrist Islamist, what should we do, sit back and be destroyed? Where will Obama and his avid followers be at that time??

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    DEATH to fascist iran!
    HANG the ayatollahs
    HANG fascist irans Revolutionary Gestapo!

    LONG LIVE PERSIA!

  • Muhammad67

    Israel has killed more than 1000 innocent children and women.

    • IslamDownpressesHumanity

      And muslimes have murdered tens of thousands of Christians in Nigeria, Iraq and Syria.

    • Gee

      Not one actually. International law states explicitly that Hamas is responsible for every single death.

      Just a minor fact

      • IslamDownpressesHumanity

        Because Hamas initiated hostilities? Or because they won’t stop? Or both?

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      MuhammedProphetOfSatan,

      Islam has killed 160,000+ in Syria and your Fascist Hamass kill 1,000 men women and children IN Gaza.

      If you had any scruples you would be ashamed of your fascist Islamist ideology, but the koran has ripped any empathy out of your soul.

    • 4arepublic

      That sounds like a rather high fatality rate for Hamass’ human shields, does it not, idiot.

  • Sharmake Yusuf

    Speaking of United Nations Security Council resolutions, which country breaks the record of being the worst violator of such resolutions? …..Israel of course!

    Your arguments are a great disservice to Israel and zionist Jews!

    • Gee

      So what? UN resolutions are not legal. They are recommendations.

      Now the minor fact that international law state that we have never violated a single law – whereas the UN has violated dozens of them

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Sharmuta, do you ply your trade in the mosque or in the street?

    • 4arepublic

      Shitmarf, you need to be fitted for a vest.

  • Sharmake Yusuf

    Why doesn’t the US quit supplying lethal weapons to an extremist, racist state such as Israel? See how they justify the killing of non-combatants including infants in Gaza!
    The US must realize that Israel doesn’t use weapons responsibly but only unleashes them in racist anger against non-Jews!

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Sharmuta,

      How I wish you were a Human Shield in Gaza…

      Sigh.

    • Gee

      Racist – sorry but that would be MUSLIMS the most racist, xenophobic, murderers on the planet

    • 4arepublic

      Shitmarf, hide in a tunnel. Be sure to wear your clean fruit of kabooms.

    • UCSPanther

      May a thousand Dresdens befall you.

  • IslamDownpressesHumanity

    “Islamic republic” — an oxymoron if there ever was one.

  • 1keith1

    It seems most liberals don’t care at all about Islam, or what it is doing to the world. They have other priorities, such as the Socialization of America.