January 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

Iranian Foreign Minister Acknowledges Directing Anti-Israel Axis

January 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

Iranian Foreign Minister Acknowledges Directing Anti-Israel Axis

Latest Developments

Iran on January 17 tacitly acknowledged orchestrating the regional fronts that have opened against Israel during the Gaza war. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned that Israel’s war against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad — Palestinian terrorist groups funded and weaponized by Tehran — risked further inflaming the Middle East. Ending the Israeli offensive “will lead to an end of military actions and crises in the region,” he said. Otherwise, he added, “all the fronts will remain active.” Amirabdollahian referred to these fronts as the “axis of resistance.”

Israel has come under attack from Iranian-backed groups in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, whose Houthi rebels have also been terrorizing international shipping in the Red Sea. Tehran has generally sought to distance itself from direct culpability for the hostilities. Amirabdollahian’s remarks came after Iran itself struck what it cast as Israel-linked targets in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan and Pakistan.

Expert Analysis

“The regime in Iran is no longer pretending: It is making clear that this is a war over its regional power and its obsession to destroy Israel. Clearly rattled at the prospect of losing Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Gazan divisions of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Tehran is hoping that Israeli leaders will relent in exchange for an easing of the pressure. This is the time for Israel and America to maximize the pressure if they want to avoid an all-out war on the IRGC’s terms.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Iran has long tried to frame the entrance of its ‘axis of resistance’ — the constellation of Iran-backed proxy and terror groups in the region — into the broader Israel-Hamas war as organic. But boastfulness is increasingly triumphing over bashfulness in Tehran, as is also evidenced by more direct and overt Iranian ballistic missile launches from its own territory at Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan.” — Behnam Ben Taleblu, FDD Senior Fellow

U.S. Navy Intercepts Houthi-Bound Iranian Missile Component Shipment,” FDD Flash Brief

Iran Will Escalate Until It Pays a Price,” by Mark Dubowitz

Houthi terrorists meet Iranian officials, coordinate Middle East policy,” by Seth J. Frantzman

Hamas Terror Against Israel Sponsored by Iran,” FDD Flash Brief


Iran Iran Politics and Economy Israel Israel at War