Iran’s semi-official state news agency Fars on Tuesday cited Commander of Iran’s Basij Force, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, as calling on the “resistance groups in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon to sign a defense treaty to help and support each other” against Israel.
“We ask the resistance forces in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon to endorse a defense pact so that an attack on any of them will be an attack on all of them and if the Zionist regime makes an aggression against any of them, all of them will grow united to confront it,” Naqdi said in Tehran on Monday night.
Fars’s brazen headline, ‘Iran Urges Palestinian, Syrian, Lebanese Resistance Groups to Ink Defense Pact,’ was further confirmation of accusations made by U.S. Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, that Tehran’s foreign policy is “subversive, sectarian, and set on goals that would come at the expense of U.S. interests in the region.”
Pundits have long accused Iran of working through its proxies in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, but Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza has brought what had been said in private out into the open, with Iranian leaders proudly announcing that they have been supplying Hamas with missiles and drones, even as Iranian diplomats try to convince the world they are peaceful nation deserving of a nuclear program.
In Tehran, Naqdi said, “The Islamic Republic has and will always be beside the Palestinian nation,” and, in the words of Fars, “warned the Zionist regime that Muslims will not sit idly [by] to witness aggression against their brothers in Gaza, ‘rather they will certainly show a firm and serious reaction.'”
Iran’s Javan, affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, wrote last week that “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 a translation by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, published yesterday.
Javan wrote: “Honestly, what reason does Iran have to conceal its comprehensive support for the defenseless Palestinian people? Undoubtedly, it [is a source of] great pride for Iran that the simplest Ababil drones, produced by the Islamic Republic [of Iran] and operated by the Hamas fighters, managed to turn the skies of the occupied territories [i.e., Israel] into the skies of [Hamas] and [even] hide from the [Israeli] regime’s expensive radars and air defense systems. [It is a source of great pride for Iran] that Fajr-5 missiles, which are planned and manufactured by the military industries of the Islamic Republic, are in the hands of the Hamas fighters, [to be used] as tools of defense.”
Javan reminded readers that “18 months ago, during the previous war between Hamas and Israel, IRGC Commander Jafari announced proudly and clearly that the Islamic Republic had provided the oppressed people of Gaza with the technology to manufacture Fajr-5 missiles.”
In 2012, Iran’s Fajr-5 missiles were fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv.
On Tuesday, Fars reported that, in Lebanon, Hezbollah Secretary General Seyed Hassan Nasrallah on Monday spoke with exiled Hamas Chief Khaled Mashaal by phone, and said, in the words of Fars, that “Hezbollah and the Lebanese resistance will support the Palestinian Intifada and resistance, with all their hearts, willpower, hope and destiny.”
Fars said that Nasrallah also phoned Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement, to discuss battle strategy in Gaza.
In 2012, days after Hamas fired its Fajr-5 missiles at Tel Aviv, Hezbollah put the same weapon on display at a rally in the suburbs of Beirut. At the event, Nasrallah warned that, if provoked, it would rain those rockets on Israeli cities, indicated on a giant map to the right of the missile.
A short clip of Hezbollah supporters surrounding the Fajr-5 missile had been uploaded to YouTube.