On October 19, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov credited Iran with having a responsible Gulf and the Middle East policy, aimed at sustaining peace and stability.
Speaking at a press conference following his visit to North Korea, Lavrov, claimed:
“With regard to Gaza, there is a serious risk of that crisis growing into a regional conflict… the Iranian authorities have taken a responsible and balanced stand and have called for preventing the conflict from spreading throughout the region, to neighboring states."
That is false.
Iran’s deeply rooted support for Hamas remains the main source of instability in the region.
The Iranian regime celebrated the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, which together with the Israeli response has sparked a humanitarian crisis that the United Nations said could have “catastrophic consequences” for the region. Some reports have suggested that Iran aided Hamas in planning the attack. The U.S. however maintains there is no evidence of Iran’s direct involvement.
On October 14, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Qatar. According to Reuters, they discussed the Palestinian group's attack on Israel "and agreed to continue cooperation" to achieve Hamas' objectives. During the meeting, Iran's foreign minister called the attack on Israel a "historic victory."
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told ABC’s “This Week” show on October 8 that while the U.S. did not have direct evidence that Iran was behind the attack, Iran's long-standing support for Hamas was clear:
”So, there’s a long relationship between Iran and Hamas. In fact, Hamas wouldn’t be Hamas without the support that it’s gotten over many years from Iran. We haven’t yet seen direct evidence that Iran was behind this particular attack or involved, but the support over many years is clear.”
The U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan also said the U.S. intelligence community has no evidence directly linking the October 7 attack with Iran.
“But as I stand here today, while Iran plays this broad role – sustained, deep and dark role in providing all of this support and capabilities to Hamas – in terms of this particular gruesome attack on October 7, we don’t currently have that information,” Sullivan told reporters at the White House press conference on October 24.
Yet Iranian legislative, executive, and military authorities celebrated October 7, the day of Hamas’ attack on Israel.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani congratulated Hamas, saying the operation had “created a new page in the arena of resistance and armed action against the occupiers in the occupied territories."
The same day, the Iranian Majlis (parliament) declared support for the "Al-Aqsa Flood" operation, using Hamas’ code name for the attack on Israel.
Major General Rahim Safavi, an adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a statement saying: “We declare our support for the Al-Aqsa Storm operation, and we are confident that the Resistance Front also supports it.”
Likewise, Iranian government spokesperson Ali Bahadori Jahromi called Hamas' attack on Israel "the powerful response of the Palestinian youth to the military actions of the Zionist regime."
The Iranian regime’s deeply rooted support for Hamas remains the main source of instability in the region.
In 2012, Hamas Politburo member Izzat al-Risheq said that Tehran was the main sponsor of the Gaza Strip’s Hamas-controlled administration. In May 2021, the Telegraph reported that Hamas officials received some $22 million during a 2006 visit to Tehran.
The British newspaper cited a senior Hamas official claiming that General Qassem Soleimani, the then-commander of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force, “had agreed that Iran would transfer an even larger sum.”
Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad International Airport in January 2020.
The Telegraph also quoted a Hamas representative in Lebanon as saying that “Iran is the only country that supports the resistance with money and weapons.”
In March 2014, Israeli commandos intercepted a Panama-flagged container ship in the Red Sea that was carrying 40 Syrian-made M-302 artillery rockets, mortar shells. Israel said the weapons were intended for terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip. In June 2014, United Nations experts confirmed the Iranian origin of the cargo.
In August 2014, CBS News quoted a senior Iranian official, Mohsen Rezaei, as saying that “Palestinian resistance missiles are the blessings of Iran's transfer of technology.”
In 2021, Hamas leader Haniyeh told Russia’s TASS state news agency that Iran’s aid is a “pillar” of his organization’s Palestine resistance “project.”
“Our relations with Iran is strategic and constitute a very important pillar of the resistance project. It is no secret that Iran provides political, material, military, and technical support to the resistance in Palestine.”
Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state.