- Even as it engages in nuclear negotiations, Iran continues to arm and train Hizbullah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
- Central to the Iranian effort are rockets and missiles (surface-to-surface), as well as UAVs and advanced anti-aircraft weapons, mainly for Hizbullah, intended to constrict the Israeli Air Force’s maneuvering room in Lebanon.
- According to Supreme Leader Khamenei, “All Palestinian areas have to become armed.. We looked at our main goal and we offered help. We managed to strengthen the fists of our Palestinian brothers in Gaza and by Allah’s favor we will continue to do that. I announced that the West Bank should be armed like Gaza and be prepared for defense.”
- Under Khamenei’s direction, Iran views the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank as a single unit under the leadership of Hamas. Iran seeks to encircle Israel from the north (Hizbullah), the south (Gaza), and the east (the West Bank) and to turn the rocket threat into an unbroken ring around Israeli territory.
- Iran views itself as setting the stage – on the propaganda, ideological, and military levels – for an inevitable confrontation with Israel and the West.
IDF Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael (Mickey) Segall, an expert on strategic issues with a focus on Iran, terrorism, and the Middle East, is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and at Foresight Prudence.