The Iranian Connection: Entrenching the Middle East

Since the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has been working to disseminate its ideology across the globe by establishing, funding, and arming terror proxies to enforce the same radical ideology. A cornerstone of Iran’s and its proxies’ ideology is the encroachment and destruction of the State of Israel.z

Terror Proxies
Iran has several terror proxies across the Middle East including: Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Shi’ite militias in Syria and Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force—a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces—is responsible for extraterritorial operations and managing Iran’s proxies abroad. The Quds Force was headed by Major General Qasem Soleimani until January 2020 when he was killed in a US military operation. Soleimani was replaced by his deputy, Brigadier General Esmail Qaani.
Hezbollah in Lebanon
Hezbollah, a Shi’ite terrorist organization, emerged in Lebanon in 1982 in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War as a militia propped up by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah is an Iranian proxy that helps disseminate and carry out its extremist ideology throughout Lebanon and the world. Iran provides Hezbollah with over $700 million a year and trains them through the elite IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) Quds Force, which supports and cultivates Iranian-backed proxies across the Middle East. Hezbollah has been led by Hassan Nasrallah since 1992.

Hezbollah has carried out bombings and kidnappings, fired rockets at Israeli civilians, started a war with Israel, and built underground terror infrastructure and tunnels from Lebanon into Israel—all in Iran’s name.
Hamas, a Palestinian Sunni Islamist terror organization, was initially founded in 1987 as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza. Since 2007, Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip. Although Hamas is a Sunni organization, Hamas’ location in Gaza and its proximity to Israel makes it an ideal ally—and proxy—for Iran. Iran provides the terror organization with approximately $80 million annually. Despite Hamas’ responsibility over the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, most of the money provided by Iran goes to funding terror attacks and operations against Israel, instead of helping Palestinian civilians. In addition to monetary support, Iran supplies weapons and ammunition, including rockets, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, and mortars to Hamas to be used for attacks against Israel.

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