Iran will do “whatever it takes” to assist Hamas in its war against Israel, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps elite Quds Force told the head of Hamas’s military wing in a letter published by Iranian state media on Thursday.
“We stand by our fraternal pledge that unites us and we assure you that we will do whatever it takes in this historic battle,” Esmail Qaani wrote in a letter to Muhammad Deif.
The letter was published one day after Reuters reported that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh earlier this month that, since Tehran was not given prior notice of the devastating terror onslaught of October 7, it would not join the war against Israel.
“Your brothers in the resistance axis stand united with you and will not allow the enemy to reach its dirty goals in Gaza and Palestine,” Qaani said in the letter, referring to a network of terror groups backed by Iran, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“The resistance has clearly demonstrated the weakness and fragility of the usurping Zionist entity and practically proved that it is weaker than a spider’s web,” Qaani wrote, hailing “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” — Hamas’s name for the October 7 massacres that killed roughly 1,200 people in Israel, mostly civilians. Terrorists also seized over 240 hostages in the deadliest attack in the Jewish state’s history.
Qaani claimed the region “will not be as it was before Al-Aqsa Flood” and that the Muslim world is “rallying around the choice of jihad” as a result.
⚡️Full translated letter of General Qaani to Mohammad Deif:
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Fight them after they fought you. Allah has the power over them, and He will support you with His help and strengthen your hearts against them. (Al-Fath 48:22)… pic.twitter.com/7DKjLZejrQ
— Arya – آریا ???????? (@AryJeay) November 16, 2023
“The resistance will not allow the enemy and those behind it to dominate Gaza and its people,” the Quds Force chief declared.
Wednesday’s Reuters report citing three senior officials said Khamenei asked Haniyeh to “silence those voices” in Hamas calling for Iran and its proxy terror group Hezbollah to directly join the war against Israel “in full force.”
Since the conflict began, there have been a string of attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria, as well as almost daily exchanges of fire across the Israel-Lebanon border between Hezbollah and the IDF.
But Iran-backed Hezbollah has refrained from launching a full-scale campaign, and Israel, too, has attempted to walk a fine line, responding with significant firepower to attacks and attempted attacks, while trying to avoid actions that would escalate the conflict, as it seeks to keep its focus on Gaza.
The persistent skirmishes along the border have killed three civilians on the Israeli side, as well as six IDF soldiers.
On the Lebanese side, nearly 100 have been killed. The toll includes at least 74 Hezbollah members, eight Palestinian terrorists, a number of civilians, and one Reuters journalist.
The Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, meanwhile, have fired several missiles toward Israel that have either been intercepted over the Red Sea or missed their target.
There has been debate over how deeply involved and aware Tehran was of the planned Hamas incursion. Iranian leaders have repeatedly warned Israel of the threat of a regional war over the offensive in Gaza, but have denied direct involvement in the massacre.
The former deputy head of the Mossad Ehud Lavi said Sunday that he believed it was unlikely that Iran did not know in advance of the Hamas assault.
According to a Wall Street Journal report last month, hundreds of Palestinian terrorists underwent “specialized combat training” in Iran weeks before the group’s murderous onslaught.
However, the White House has said it has not yet found any evidence directly linking the Islamic Republic to the massacre. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is not certain that Tehran was involved.
Hamas has called on its allies multiple times to join the war and attack Israel.
On the day of Hamas’s devastating onslaught, Deif called on the “Islamic resistance in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon” – countries with terror movements that are militarily supported by Iran – to “merge their resistance with that of the Palestinians today,” and “start marching toward Palestine now.”
On Saturday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called for more global demonstrations against the war in Gaza in order to put pressure on Israel and its allies.
Nasrallah, in a lengthy speech, also called for dragging out the war “for as long as possible” to enable greater “resistance,” and sneered that only the US and UK were now standing with Israel.