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Iran Helped Plot Attack on Israel -The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps gave the final go-ahead

Pictured: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran on June 21, 2023. Hamas terrorists parade in Gaza City.

Stop Iran Now Via The Wall Street Journal

October 8, 2023

DUBAI—Iranian security officials helped plan Hamas’s Saturday surprise attack on Israel and gave the green light for the assault at a meeting in Beirut last Monday, according to senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, another Iran-backed militant group.

Officers of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had worked with Hamas since August to devise the air, land and sea incursions—the most significant breach of Israel’s borders since the 1973 Yom Kippur War—those people said.

Details of the operation were refined during several meetings in Beirut attended by IRGC officers and representatives of four Iran-backed militant groups, including Hamas, which holds power in Gaza, and Hezbollah, a Shiite militant group and political faction in Lebanon, they said.

U.S. officials say they haven’t seen evidence of Tehran’s involvement. In an interview with CNN that aired Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “We have not yet seen evidence that Iran directed or was behind this particular attack, but there is certainly a long relationship.”

“We don’t have any information at this time to corroborate this account,” said a U.S. official of the meetings.

A European official and an adviser to the Syrian government, however, gave the same account of Iran’s involvement in the lead-up to the attack as the senior Hamas and Hezbollah members.

Asked about the meetings, Mahmoud Mirdawi, a senior Hamas official, said the group planned the attacks on its own. “This is a Palestinian and Hamas decision,” he said.

The Iranian delegation at the United Nations in New York didn’t respond to a request for comment. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has praised the attacks, saying in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the “Zionist regime will be eradicated at the hands of the Palestinian people and the Resistance forces throughout the region.”

A direct Iranian role would take Tehran’s long-running conflict with Israel out of the shadows, raising the risk of broader conflict in the Middle East. Senior Israeli security officials have pledged to strike at Iran’s leadership if Tehran is found responsible for killing Israelis.

The IRGC’s broader plan is to create a multi-front threat that can strangle Israel from all sides—Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the north and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, according to the senior Hamas and Hezbollah members and an Iranian official.

At least 700 Israelis are confirmed dead, and Saturday’s assault has punctured the country’s aura of invincibility and left Israelis questioning how their vaunted security forces could let this happen.

Israel has blamed Iran, saying it is behind the attacks, if indirectly. ​​ “We know that there were meetings in Syria and in Lebanon with other leaders of the terror armies that surround Israel so obviously it’s easy to understand that they tried to coordinate. The proxies of Iran in our region, they tried to be coordinated as much as possible with Iran,” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said Sunday.

Hamas has publicly acknowledged receiving support from Iran. And on Sunday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi talked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh.

Iran has been setting aside other regional conflicts, such as its open feud with Saudi Arabia in Yemen, to devote the IRGC’s foreign resources toward coordinating, financing and arming militias antagonistic to Israel, including Hamas and Hezbollah, the senior Hamas and Hezbollah members said.

The U.S. and Israel have designated Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations.

“We are now free to focus on the Zionist entity,” the Iranian official said. “They are now very isolated.”

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