By Amir Taghati
For many, the news that the United States is re-imposing crippling sanctions on Iran after the U.S. exit from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is positive, not least for the people of Iran who are utterly fed up of the regime’s meddling abroad and its plundering of the nation’s wealth on terrorist, extremist and other belligerent activities in the Middle East.
Iran’s interference in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen is well known. But very little is spoken about its interference in Palestine. The Iranian regime’s strategy for regional dominance is via the use of numerous proxy groups and militias.
Hamas is one such organisation that is heavily funded by Iran and it has recently been outspoken about the sanctions.
It, as well as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group, is rather concerned about the effect these sanctions will have on its organisation. They control the Gaza Strip mostly because of Iran’s support. Hamas released a statement saying that the sanctions are “undermining security and stability in the region”.
This statement could not be any more ironic because it is Iran and its regional allies like Hamas that are undermining security and stability in the Middle East.
The group said that the sanctions are undermining Palestinian steadfastness and affirmed that it would support the Iranian regime “in the face of this American-Zionist arrogance”.
Iran has been supporting the resistance movement against Israel for years and a senior member of Hamas said that Iran’s assistance shows its determination in “confronting the Zionist entity”.
Hamas has managed to hold millions of Gaza Strip residents hostage thanks to Iran and along with the PIJ they have launched thousands of missiles towards Israel.
Even more surprisingly is the PIJ’s response to the sanctions. This group has said that the United States is acting with “thuggery and terrorism” towards Iran, Palestine and every Muslim and Arab in the region. How it can make such a claim when its aim is to destroy Israel and create a sovereign Islamic Palestinian state. Its jihadis have carried out many terrorist attacks that have killed thousands of Israelis.
To summarise, the survival of these groups depends on the survival of the Iranian regime that heavily supports them. Of course it is not happy about the sanctions, but only because it will be prevented from carrying out its terrorist activities to the full, but how can they have the audacity to accuse the United States of undermining the stability and security of the Middle East?
What is worrying about the statements made by these groups is that they can be interpreted as a threat to the United States, in particular its assets and interests in the region. They have made it very clear that their main enemy is the United States and they have said in no uncertain terms that they will continue in their quest to destroy Israel.
The majority of the peaceful people in the region realise – just like the U.S. administration – that Iran is the number one threat in the region. And peace can only be achieved if the Iranian regime is cut off from the finances that allow it to fund such malign activities.