May 24, 2024 | Flash Brief

Iran’s Terror Proxies Gather On Sidelines of Raisi’s Funeral

May 24, 2024 | Flash Brief

Iran’s Terror Proxies Gather On Sidelines of Raisi’s Funeral

Latest Developments

Representatives from Iran’s network of terror proxies convened on May 22 on the sidelines of the late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s funeral. Raisi died alongside Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash on May 19. Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh, Hezbollah’s deputy chief Naim Qassem, and Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam attended the May 22 gathering, as did representatives from Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and Iran-backed Iraqi terrorist militias. Hossein Salami, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and Esmail Qaani, the commander of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force, were also in the room.

According to Iranian state media, the group discussed “the latest political, social and military situation in Gaza” and pledged to continue fighting “with the participation of all resistance groups and fronts in the region.”

Expert Analysis

“This is Iran’s Terror Inc. on full display. It’s a unique moment where we can clearly identify the head of the octopus and all its tentacles without pretense or plausible deniability.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“The funeral of President Ebrahim Raisi and other Iranian officials provided an unexpected platform for the who’s who of regime-sponsored terrorist groups to meet. As Israel presses ahead with its efforts to eliminate Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza, the gathering of Resistance Axis members offered an opportunity to advance the Iran-led, multi-front war currently underway against the Jewish State.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Iran’s Proxy Network

Iran maintains a network of terror proxies across the Middle East that includes Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen. Iran-backed groups also operate in Iraq, Syria, and the West Bank. The U.S. State Department estimates that Tehran provides up to $100 million annually in combined support to Palestinian terrorist organizations alone, “including Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.” Salami said in April 2023 that “invisible hands” — an apparent reference to the regime in Tehran — “armed the West Bank, and you [now] see modern automatic rifles and automatic weapons in the hands of the Palestinians.”

Tehran’s Support for Palestinian Terrorism Continues

Weeks before his death, Raisi met with leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Syria. Damascus-based Palestinian official Khaled Abdul-Majid told the Associated Press that the leaders briefed Raisi on developments in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza during their May 4 meeting. “The Palestinian leaders thanked Iran for its support to the resistance and the Palestinian cause,” Abdul-Majid said. Raisi reportedly said that “the unity and cohesion of the resistance forces, the region and the Islamic world is necessary to accelerate the defeat of the Zionist regime and the liberation of the holy Quds and the sovereignty of the Palestinians over their destiny.”

Iran-Backed West Bank Chaos,” by Joe Truzman

Raisi Affirms Iranian Coordination with Palestinian Terror Groups,” FDD Flash Brief

10 Things to Know About Hamas,” FDD Insight

Issues:

Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism