Iran Vice-Speaker Vows to Keep Up Support for Regional Proxies in Fight Against Israel
Iran will continue to support regional proxies such as Hezbollah in the fight against Israel, Iranian Parliament’s Vice-Speaker Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabifard declared on Monday.
Speaking to reporters in Iran, former presidential candidate Aboutorabidard said Iran would continue to back “any movement that confronts the Zionist regime and its state terrorism.” Many of the groups the Iranian vice speaker was likely referring to, such as Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, are designated terror groups by Israel, the U.S., and EU, though Europe only banned Hezbollah’s armed wing.
Aboutorabidard said Hezbollah was considered a terrorist group by the U.S. and Israel only because Israel continues to see Hezbollah as a primary threat, which was underlined recently in an unusual IDF document by Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot that listed Islamist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas as Israel’s main challenges.
Aboutorabidard’s remarks came a few days after President Barack Obama reiterated White House intentions to boost security cooperation with Israel following his administration’s landmark nuclear deal with Tehran — the largest U.S.-Iranian diplomatic effort in decades, which also involved five other world powers.
Obama promised, among other things, to improve the U.S. and Israel’s ability to interdict illicit arms shipments from Iran, through Syria and to Hezbollah, which have continued throughout the violent regional conflicts of the last several years.
Israel has itself launched several air strikes since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war against arms convoys headed for Hezbollah.