Article: In a recent face-to-face meeting in Tehran, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, conveyed to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Iran, a longstanding supporter of Hamas, would not engage directly in the conflict with Israel. Accusing the terror group of not providing advance notice of the October 7 attacks, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized Iran’s commitment to extending political and moral support to Hamas. However, sources reveal that Iran will refrain from direct intervention, as disclosed by three Iranian and Hamas officials requesting anonymity.
During the meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei urged Haniyeh to quell internal calls within Hamas for Iran and its ally Hezbollah to actively join the confrontation with Israel. Reuters reports that Hezbollah itself was caught off guard by Hamas’s October assault, prompting a rapid mobilization of fighters.
This unfolding crisis marks a significant moment for the “axis of resistance,” a military alliance built by Iran over four decades to counter Israeli and American influence in the Middle East. The alliance now faces simultaneous challenges on multiple fronts, with Hezbollah engaging in the heaviest clashes with Israel in nearly two decades, Iran-backed militias targeting US forces, and Yemen’s Houthis launching attacks on Israel.
Mohanad Hage Ali, an expert on Hezbollah, suggests that Hamas’s unexpected assault has placed its axis partners in a difficult position against a superior adversary. The ongoing conflict, which has claimed over 11,000 Palestinian lives, has prompted Hamas to call on its axis allies to join the struggle.
Despite these calls, Iran, as the leader of the alliance, maintains it will not directly intervene unless attacked by Israel or the US. Instead, Tehran plans to utilize its network of armed allies, including Hezbollah, to launch rocket and drone attacks on Israeli and American targets across the Middle East, according to six officials familiar with Tehran’s strategy who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter.