Wednesday, Jan. 7th 2009

Iran’s Involvement in Gaza Gets Noticed

As Israel’s incursion into Gaza continues, Iran’s connection to events in Gaza is being noticed by various media outlets.

The best I’ve seen is Reuel Marc Gerecht writing in today’s Wall Street Journal. Mr. Gerecht, a former CIA officer concisely summarizes Iran’s intervention in Gaza and describes it as part of a larger strategy for the region.

The mullahs have a chance of supplanting Saudi Arabia, the font of the most vicious anti-Shiite Sunni creed, as the most reliable backer of Palestinian fundamentalists. Even more than the Lebanese Hezbollah, which remains tied to and constrained by the complex matrix of Lebanese politics, Hamas seems willing to absorb enormous losses to continue its jihad against Israel. Where Saudi Arabia has been uneasy about the internecine strife among Palestinians — it has bankrolled both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas — Iran has put its money on the former.

. . .

Through Hamas, Tehran can possibly reach the ultimate prize, the Egyptian faithful. For reasons both ancient and modern, Egypt has perhaps the most Shiite-sympathetic religious identity in the Sunni Arab world. As long as Hamas remains the center of the Palestinian imagination — and unless Hamas loses its military grip on Gaza, it will continue to command the attention of both the Arab and Western media — Egypt’s politics remain fluid and potentially volatile. Tehran is certainly under no illusions about the strength of Egypt’s military dictatorship, but the uncertainties in Egypt are greater now than they have been since the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, Foreign Affairs Analyst for FOX News, begins a post on a FOX News blog with a paragraph that leaves little doubt of Jafarzadeh’s opinion as to who is responsible for the violence in Gaza.

The loss of innocent lives in Gaza is deplorable. Behind the horrific scenes, a culprit of the current crisis crouches unscathed—-the ruling regime in Iran. This beast, which seeks to establish an “Islamic” empire by exporting its brand of Islamic fundamentalism throughout the region, has in many ways been nurtured and emboldened by the appeasement policies of the past three decades. And for those wrong-headed policies toward the ayatollahs’ regime, the West shares in the responsibility for the bloodshed and carnage inflicted on the Middle East.

Analysis: The violence in Gaza furthers the goals of Iran and the IRGC. Israel’s reaction to the rocket attacks, while understandable, subjects Israel to condemnation from much of the world, especially when innocent lives are demonstrably lost such as in the recent attack on the United Nations sponsored school. As Gerecht notes in his op-ed, Shia Iran works across sectarian lines, freely sponsoring Sunni Hamas. Iran’s leaders continue to focus on reducing the influence and power of its two main enemies, the United States and Israel.

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