Tehran Cozying Up to Anti-Israel Terror Groups
In the event anyone had doubts about Tehran's ill-intent towards Israel, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is doing his utmost to set the record straight.
Ahmadinejad on Wednesday met with Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Abdullah and stressed the "inspiring role that the Palestinian people's resistance has played in provoking Muslim nations to stand against their tyrannical rulers."
During the meeting he referred to the ongoing "Islamic Awakening" in the region saying "Palestinians' resistance against occupying force of Zionist regime has been always inspiring for the Muslim nations."
Tehran is a major backer for terror groups seeking to destroy Israel and donates funds to Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, to name a few.
Ahmadinejad also claimed international pressure on Damascus is due to "Syria supporting the regional resistance movement against Tel-Aviv," rather than the brutal crackdown of President Bashar al-Assad that has claimed over 6,000 civilian lives.
He made no effort to reconcile his claim with the fact that the Arab League nations, most of whom have been technically at war with Israel since 1948, are among those that have imposed sanctions on Syria. Many are also donors and supporters to the PLO, Hamas in Gaza, and other terror groups supported by Tehran and Damascus.
For his part, Ramadan claimed the "increase of pressures on Palestinians and regional resistance movement" is due to the influence of the "hegemonic powers is declining." However, many analysts in the West see Tehran as an increasingly isolated pariah state aware of its own vulnerability.
Should Assad fall in the coming months - as a broad array of senior policy experts in the West increasingly see as the likely outcome - Tehran would lose a key ally in its own bid for regional hegemony. It would also be cut off from its terror-proxy Hizbullah in Lebanon.
Ahmadinejad is expected to host Hamas Gaza-chief Ismail Haniyeh in the coming days, as well. The visit comes after a row between Tehran and Hamas over the terror group's criticism of Assad's handling of the uprising in his country.
Tehran seriously reduced donations to the Hamas government in Gaza in a pique. In the wake of the cut ,Hamas also found itself embroiled in a running feud with Shiite competitors in Gaza.
Hamas moved to shut down foreign-funded Shiite outreach centers in Gaza and had a series of simmering confrontations with Shiite terror competitors, including Hizbullah.
Hizbullah has been a staunch proponent of the Assad regime and has been widely accused of sending fighters to aid in quashing protests in the country – a charge Hizbullah denies.
It is widely believed that the recent round of meetings with anti-Israel terror leaders in Tehran are intended to lay the groundwork for a possible terror "counter-strike" on Israel should Jerusalem launch a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.