September 6, 2022 | Flash Brief

A New Iran Deal Would Empower Hamas

September 6, 2022 | Flash Brief

A New Iran Deal Would Empower Hamas

Latest Developments

Iran would receive approximately $275 billion in sanctions relief during the first year of a new nuclear deal and more than $1 trillion by 2030, according to an FDD analysis. If past is prologue, a significant portion of these funds would likely flow to Iranian-supported terror organizations in the region, including Hamas. In the year after the implementation of the original 2015 nuclear accord, Tehran’s military budget increased by 90 percent, enabling the regime to shower Iran-aligned terror organizations, including Hamas, with additional resources.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas has demonstrated the ability to obtain and produce high-quality weapons such as drones and long-range rockets that can target all of Israel. A new Iran deal will provide additional funds to the group, giving it the ability to advance its weapons program and finance further terror activity in the West Bank.” – Joe Truzman, Research Analyst, FDD’s Long War Journal

Iran Provides Hamas With Weapons and Know-How to Strike Israel

Hamas — a U.S.-designated Foreign Terror Organization — has ruled Gaza since it seized control in a violent coup in 2007. Hamas is financially supported by Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah and was estimated in 2021 to have an army of 30,000. Hamas produces arms locally, leveraging Iranian technology and logistical support. What Hamas does not produce it smuggles into the Mediterranean enclave from tunnels under its border with Egypt. “Iran provided us with rockets,” Gaza-based Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar boasted in 2019, shortly after the group fired a barrage at a city in southern Israel. “Had it not been for Iran, the resistance in Palestine would not have possessed its current capabilities.”

Hamas’ Arsenal

In May 2021, Hamas initiated a war against the Jewish state, indiscriminately firing more than 4,000 rockets, including newly developed long-range projectiles, at Israeli population centers. These rockets constitute a key part of Hamas’ robust military arsenal.


Hamas possesses a large arsenal of munitions, including short-range Qassam rockets, which have a range of 10 km, as well as medium- to long-range rockets, with ranges between 85 and 250 km. Most of the rockets are locally produced in the Gaza Strip using Iranian know-how and technical support, although Iran has also transferred arms directly to Hamas using smuggling routes through Sudan. Like Hezbollah, Hamas is also making efforts to smuggle precision-guided munitions into the Gaza Strip.


Hamas maintains military tunnels to facilitate cross-border incursions into Israel, rocket-launching, defense, communication, logistics, and secure movement. Hamas tasks a specially trained group of militants known as the Nukhbah unit with offensive missions, including kidnapping operations, such as the capturing of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006. Hamas also uses commercial tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border to move in-demand commodities ranging from cigarettes to livestock.

Naval and Anti-Ship Capabilities

In 2021, Hamas boasted a force of 400 naval commandos trained to conduct raids from the sea, armed with advanced diving capabilities and jet skis for raiding or swarming surface attacks. The Israeli military stated during the 2021 Gaza war that it destroyed an unmanned underwater drone attempting to target Israeli naval assets.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

During the 2021 Gaza war, Hamas’ advances in the field of drone technology became evident when it unveiled a locally made Shahab suicide unmanned aerial vehicle. Hamas also boasts other drones, such as the Iranian-made Ababil. In recent months, Hamas published further evidence of its extensive drone program in a memorial video of one of its engineers who was killed during the May 2021 Gaza conflict.

Related FDD Analysis


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran Nuclear Iran Sanctions Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Nonproliferation Palestinian Politics Sanctions and Illicit Finance