Iran Fueling Hamas And Hizballah Toward Conflict
As the United Nations makes an about-face, launching “the third-largest fundraising campaign in the world” in order to provide aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government, Hamas’ PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is in Tehran meeting with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The recognition of Israel’s right to exist has been the principle demand of international donors - presumably including the United Nations - who have cut off funds since the terrorist group was freely elected into power.
Just as Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas appears ready to plan for early elections in order to oust the Hamas terrorist organization from power through a Palestinian vote, the effect of the United Nations’ massive fund-raising effort may prove to be the economic relief that assures Hamas’ continued grip on power in the Palestinian territories.
From Iran, which has provided Hamas with a reported $120 million since their January election into power, Hamas’ Haniyeh vowed before an approving audience to continue its violent jihad and maintain its steadfast refusal to recognize “the Zionist entity.” After reiterating that the United States and Israel demand the renunciation of terrorism and the recognition of Israel, the Hamas leader said, “I’m insisting from this podium that these issues won’t materialize. We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem.”
Iran has exerted increasing influence in the Palestinian territories, principally in Gaza through Hamas, with the acquiescence gained by ignoring international calls and becoming the principal source of funds for the Hamas-led government. Iran has also aided in arming the Hamas terrorists with tons of explosives, small arms, millions of rounds of ammunition and advanced anti-tank rockets, such as those used in the Popular Resistance Committees’ raid that resulted in the abduction of still-captive IDF corporal Gilad Shalit.
Iran has also spent hundreds of millions arming (and re-arming) Hizballah terrorists and building their infrastructure in Lebanon. Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah vowed to continue the terrorist group’s street protests in Beirut, which seeks to collapse the current Lebanese government in order to reform it under a Syria-friendly Hizballah banner. Of the protest still ongoing since last week, Nasrallah said, “We will not be dragged into any kind of strife even if you kill a thousand of us. We will not raise weapons in the face of anyone.” But many Lebanese dismiss the peaceful façade presented by Nasrallah and Hizballah, fearing that what the group seeks is to incite attacks and a civil war in which Hizballah – the strongest military/terrorist force in Lebanon - would have a decided upper hand.
But while Nasrallah continues to foment unrest and rally Shi’a protesters in Beirut, reportedly from a command center inside the Iranian embassy, Hizballah’s original secretary general now rejected by Hizballah leadership, Sheik Sobhi Tufeili, lashed out at Hizballah’s role as a subservient pawn to Iranian desires. While saying that the Shi’a of Lebanon, Afghanistan and elsewhere are looked down upon by Tehran and used as their pawns, Tufeili said, “The relationship of Hezbollah with Iran is [one of] complete, loyal submission,” and added that non-Iranian Shi’a – including most of all his former group, Lebanon’s Hizballah – are expendable to their Iranian masters “if they need 1,000 Shiites to be killed here, or 1,000 Shiites to be killed there.”
Tufeili was expelled from Hizballah for his strong objections to its entering the Lebanese political process and the group’s increased drift toward the Iranian mullahs and Syria – which he saw as too moderate. But while Hizballah’s first secretary general is even more radical than the current leadership and wanted by both Lebanon and the United States, his observations of the state of Hizballah are accurate and important.
The radical Shi’a sheikh said, “They [Iran] use the Shiites all over the world for their purposes, just as the USSR used to do with communist parties all over the world. Today, Iran sacrifices these Islamic parties for their benefit.” In the interview which produced these quotes, Sheikh Tufeili defended the Siniora government and was described by Amal Saad Ghorayeb of the Carnegie Middle East Center as “a March 14 man now,” referring to the pro-democracy Cedar Revolution movement that Hizballah seeks to topple with its current protests.
Tufeili concluded, “I beg [Iran] to leave us. Don’t take us into civil war. If you can’t leave us, don’t harm us. We’re fed up with wars and destruction.” His are words falling on deaf Persian ears.