Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) are embarrassed: Iran just admittedthat both of those terrorist groups serve as mercenaries for the mullahs in Tehran.
For Hamas and PIJ, the admission is yet another sign that the truth can be painful and inconvenient, especially when it comes from a major ally such as Iran.
Recently, Maj. Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid, Commander of Iran's Khatam al-Anbiya Central Headquarters, stated that his country has armies that operate outside of Iran.
Rashid was referring to Iranian-backed groups such as Hamas, PIJ, Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen, the Syrian army and the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, and other militias in Iraq and Syria. These groups, he said, "have ideological tendencies" with the mission to defend Iran.
Rashid pointed out that the former commander of Iran's Quds Force, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, said three months before his death that he had "organized six armies outside the territory of Iran."
Soleimani, who was assassinated on January 3, 2020, in a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport, had been in charge of Iran's extraterritorial and clandestine military operations.
After his assassination, Hamas and PIJ revealed that Soleimani had been responsible for providing the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with many types of weapons to assist them in their war against Israel.
Hamas official Osama Hamdan, for instance, was quoted earlier this year as saying that his group had "deep relations" with Soleimani, who sent Russian Kornet anti-tank guided missiles to the Gaza Strip.
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar reported in December 2020 that during their first meeting in 2006, Soleimani gave him suitcases filled with $22 million in cash.
Rashid, the commander who disclosed the connection between the terror groups and Iran's six "armies," claimed that the US and Israel are angry and concerned about his country's growing regional power
The "belligerent American and Zionist regime's forces are angry about the extreme power of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region," he said. He added that Iran has indeed bonded with some nations and governments, "creating regional powers and religious-popular powers," according to the Iranian Mehr News Agency.
These groups, Rashid said, "represent a deterrent force for Iran and are ready to defend it against any foreign aggressor."
In short, the Iranian commander is threatening that his country will unleash its six "armies" against the US and Israel in any future war or military confrontation.
It is no secret that Hamas and PIJ have long been funded and armed by Iran. The leaders of the two groups have even boasted of their ties with Iran, especially Tehran's support for the jihad (holy war) to eliminate Israel.