Iranian officials on Wednesday acknowledged providing military assistance, including missile technology, to the Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
A senior Iranian official disputed that accusation, but acknowledged that his country has shared its Fajr-5 missile technology with the militant group that controls Gaza.
“The Fajr-5 missiles have not been shipped from Iran. Its technology has been transferred, and [the missiles are] being produced quickly,” Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, was quoted as saying by Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency.
Iranian officials’ admissions that they are sharing missile technology with Hamas “shows some brazenness,” said Tom Karako, assistant professor of political science at Kenyon College who specializes in proliferation issues.
“[Iranian] willingness to connect the dots between these rockets that are being fired and themselves puts the Hamas-Israel conflict in the context of the larger regional struggle and raises questions about Iran’s strategic purpose,” Mr. Karako said. “Is it merely to provide Hamas with military capabilities for self-defense or to accomplish a larger strategic purpose?”
“Sharing technology with Hamas is impossible,” Mr. Alfoneh said. “Hamas doesn’t have the capacity to run a banana plantation, let alone a missile factory, particularly a missile factory about which the Israelis are ignorant.”
However, Iranian officials rarely have boasted about arming the militants.
“Traditionally, Hamas has had a very long-standing and deep relationship with Iran, which involved training, funding and arms,” said Matthew Levitt, director of the counterterrorism and intelligence program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.View Entire Story
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Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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