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July 10, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11439

Iranian Officials Acknowledge Iran's Role In Planning And Executing October 7 Hamas Invasion And Massacres In Southern Israel

July 10, 2024
Iran, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 11439

On several occasions, Iranian officials have revealed that the Iranian regime was involved in the planning and execution of Hamas's "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood," the October 7, 2023 invasion and massacres in southern Israel in which over 1,200 Israelis were killed and over 240 were taken hostage. Statements by these officials contradict the regime's official stance, as expressed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on October 10, 2023, that Iran was not involved in the attack.[1]

Below are recent statements by Iranian regime officials and mouthpieces acknowledging the Iranian regime's involvement in the October 7 attacks.

Coalition Council Of Islamic Revolution Forces: Zahedi "Played A Strategic Role" In "The Planning And Execution Of Al-Aqsa Flood"

On April 3, 2024, the Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces, which is affiliated with the conservative ideological faction in Iran, published a notice of mourning and appreciation for Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the IRGC Qods Force commander in Syria and Lebanon, along with his deputy Mohammad Hadi Rahimi and five other senior Qods Force officials, who were all killed in the April 1 airstrike in the Iranian consulate complex in Damascus that has been attributed to Israel.

The Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces is headed by Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, who is advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as well as the father-in-law of Khamenei's son Mojtaba Hosseini Khamenei. He is also a member of the Expediency Council, and a former Majlis speaker.

The April 3 announcement clearly indicates that Gen. Zahedi was involved in the planning and execution of the October 7 attack. It stated: "The strategic role of the martyr Zahedi in consolidating and strengthening the resistance front, and in the planning and execution of Al-Aqsa Flood, are part of the great pride that will transform the quiet efforts of this great commander into the eternal history of the struggle against the occupation by the Zionist regime."[2]


The seven IRGC Qods Force officers killed in the April 1, 2024 airstrike against the Iranian consulate complex in Damascus. Source: Mashregh News (Iran), April 3, 2024.

For more details, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 11264, Close Associate Of Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei: The IRGC Qods Force Commander For Syria And Lebanon Who Was Killed In Damascus Was Involved In Planning And Execution Of October 7 Hamas Attack, April 9, 2024.

IRGC Qods Force Deputy Operations Chief Gen. Mohsen Chizari On Qods Force Deputy Commander In Syria And Lebanon Hajj Rahimi, Killed In Damascus Iranian Consulate Compound Airstrike: Under Khamenei's Command, The Resistance Axis Commanders – Including Hajj Rahimi – Successfully "Advanced The Resistance Front To A Certain Place, The Result Of Which Was Operation Al-Aqsa Flood"

In a May 12, 2024 interview with Iran's Tasnim News Agency, IRGC Qods Force deputy operations chief General Mohsen Chizari said that Qods Force Deputy Commander in Syria and Lebanon Hajj Rahimi, one of the officers killed in the April 1 airstrike in Damascus, had been responsible for training resistance axis members, and that his command and efforts had "resulted" in the Al-Aqsa Flood.

General Chizari elaborated: "The honorable [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei] is the commander of the resistance axis, and he alone directs, leads and commands it. At one point, the command in the area was in the hands of Hajj Qassem [Soleimani], who worked under Khamenei. Under this command, other commanders [including Hajj Rahimi] successfully advanced the resistance front to a certain place, the result of which was Operation Al-Aqsa Flood [on October 7, 2023]."[3]


Left: IRGC Qods Force deputy operations chief General Mohsen Chizari. Source: Tasnim News Agency (Iran), May 12, 2024. Right: Hajj Rahimi (center) alongside IRGC Qods Force Commander General Qasem Soleimani (left). At the time this photo was taken, Hajj Rahimi was the commander of the Imam Ali special forces unit. Source: Tasnim News Agency (Iran), May 12, 2024.

For more details, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 11392, IRGC Qods Force Deputy Operations Chief Gen. Mohsen Chizari On Qods Force Deputy Commander In Syria And Lebanon Hajj Rahimi, Killed In Damascus: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei 'Directs, Leads, And Commands' The Resistance Axis; Under Him, The Resistance Axis Commanders – Including Hajj Rahimi – Successfully 'Advanced The Resistance Front To A Certain Place, The Result Of Which Was Operation Al-Aqsa Flood [On October 7, 2023]', June 11, 2024.

IRGC Spokesman Ramazan Sharif: October 7 Was "One Of The Resistance Axis's Acts Of Vengeance Against The Zionists For The Killing Of [Qassem] Soleimani"

Marking the third anniversary of the January 3, 2020 killing of the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, Qassem Soleimani, in a U.S. air strike, along with the December 25, 2023 killing of senior IRGC officer Gen. Razi Moussavi in Damascus in an Israeli air strike, IRGC spokesman Ramazan Sharif said that the Hamas massacre of Israelis on October 7, 2023 was "one of the resistance axis's acts of vengeance against the Zionists for the killing of [IRGC Qods Force commander Gen. Qassim] Soleimani."[4] Several hours after Fars News published Sharif's statements on its website, his sentence stating that the October 7 Hamas operation was revenge for Soleimani's killing was removed.


Screenshot of Fars News publication of Sharif's statements. Source: Farsnews.ir, December 27, 2023.

For more details, see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1736, IRGC Spokesman Sharif Asserts That Hamas's October 7 Massacre Was 'One Of The Resistance Axis's Acts Of Vengeance Against The Zionists For The Killing Of [IRGC Qods Force Commander Qassem] Soleimani' – And His Statements Were Later Edited In Iranian Media Coverage Of Them, January 2, 2024.

Iranian Regime Mouthpiece Kayhan: Iran Is The Mind And Hands Behind Hamas; Operation Al-Aqsa Flood Was Planned And Orchestrated By Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani Before He Was Killed; Khamenei Hinted In August 2022, August 2023 At "The Complete Conquest" Of Israel

In an October 10, 2023 article titled "[Operation] Al-Aqsa Flood Is the Beginning Of The End Of [Israel's] 75-Year Occupation," the Iranian regime mouthpiece Kayhan stated that a plan for Israel's destruction, formulated and organized by Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and dictated by him to the commanders of the resistance organizations just before his assassination by the U.S. in January 2020, has begun to be implemented. Kayhan in fact clarified that Khamenei was party to the plan and hinted twice that a great victory was on the horizon. Kayhan also wrote that Khamenei had hinted at victory in August 2022 and in August 2023 had suggested that a major operation would take place soon, indicating that Khamenei had clearly known about Iranian plans for the attack. The article stated:

"Today it emerges that his powers of planning and operational strategy were boundless. In the last meeting he held before he was martyred, Soleimani spent [seven hours], from 8:00 until 15:00, outlining the future plan for all the resistance factions and the way they would interact with one another. What the resistance factions found unusual in that meeting was that Hajj Qassem [Soleimani] stressed that everybody had to write down [what he said]. 'Write down what I say, [he insisted]. I am outlining the charter for the next five years!' The unity of the resistance factions based on this five-year charter is the fruit of Soleimani's martyrdom and part of the resistance factions' harsh revenge…

"The significance is that, last year, the Leader [Khamenei] gave 'the promise of the imminent conquest,' and this year he gave 'the announcement of the complete conquest,' and Operation Al-Aqsa Flood is part of this imminent conquest."[5]

For more details, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10857, Iranian Regime Mouthpiece Kayhan: Iran Is The Mind And Hands Behind Hamas; Operation 'Al-Aqsa Flood' Was Planned, Orchestrated By Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani Before He Was Killed; Khamenei Hinted In August 2022, August 2023 At 'The Complete Conquest' Of Israel, October 12, 2023.

Iranian Armed Forces Commander Ali Bagheri: The Entire World Is Witnessing How The "Sapling" Planted By Soleimani Has Become A Strong And Stable Tree Waging Resistance That Will Destroy The Zionists

Iranian armed forces commander Ali Bagheri said on November 21, 2023 at the tomb of slain IRGC Qods Force commander Qassim Soleimani, killed in a U.S. airstrike in January 2020:

"These are the days when the entire world is witnessing how the sapling planted by the lord of the martyrs of the resistance front, [Qassem] Soleimani, and his colleagues has become a strong and stable tree that is waging resistance and that will destroy the Zionists. We in [Iran's] armed forces, along with all the young people who join the army, see Hajj Qassem Soleimani as a role model whose footsteps must be followed and whom we must try to imitate."[6]


Iranian armed forces commander Ali Bagheri. Source: Tasnim News Agency, November 21, 2023.

For more details, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1729, Iranian Regime Officials Praise Iran's Proxies In The Palestinian Resistance And The October 7 Massacres, Call For Eradication Of Israel, December 1, 2023.

Exclusive Report By Iranian News Agency Tasnim: 'The "Mighty Pillar" Maneuvers Were The Resistance [Organizations'] Planning For An Attack On Israel; [They Constituted] Four Years Of Training The Palestinians For 'Al-Aqsa Flood'

The Iranian news agency Tasnim, which is affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), published, on October 15, 2023, an exclusive report titled "The 'Mighty Pillar' Maneuvers Were The Resistance [Organizations'] Planning For An Attack On Israel; [They Constituted] Four Years Of Training The Palestinians For 'Al-Aqsa Flood.'" The report extensively reviewed documentation of Hamas members' training in maneuvers held in the past four years in advance of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023. The report stressed that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had declared that the operation's name would be "Al-Aqsa Flood" many years before its execution, and that he had ordered the establishment of a joint command and control center – commanded by Iran – for the resistance groups, with Iran providing weapons and training under the command of IRGC Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani, and later by his successor Esmail Qaani.


Left: Simulated capture of "Zionist" soldiers in the "Might Pillar" military exercise. Right: Capture of Israeli soldier during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7, 2023. Source: Tasnim News Agency (Iran), October 15, 2023.

For more details, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10889, Exclusive Report By Iranian News Agency Tasnim: 'The "Mighty Pillar" Maneuvers Were The Resistance [Organizations'] Planning For An Attack On Israel; [They Constituted] Four Years Of Training The Palestinians For 'Al-Aqsa Flood', October 19, 2023.

 

[1] Khamenei.ir, October 10, 2023. It should be noted that on the following day, an editorial published by Aser-i Iran (Iran) called on Iranian regime officials – and specifically the ideologically radical ones – to not say anything about Iran's ties to the "Hamas-Israel conflict," since this may harm Iran's national interests. The article, titled "Beware Of A Own Goal In The Hamas-Israel Conflict," said that Iranian officials should not deviate from the official stance voiced by Khamenei, which says that Iran is proud of the Palestinian resistance that carried out the attack and encourages its continuation, but is not involved in it. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10860, Iranian Website Asr-e Iran Calls On Iranians Not To Speak Out On Iranian Involvement In 'The Hamas-Israel Conflict' – For Fear Of Harming Iranian Interests And International Status, October 13, 2023.

[2] Mashregh News (Iran), April 3, 2024.

[3] Tasnim News Agency (Iran), May 12, 2024.

[4] Farsnews.ir, December 27, 2023.

[5] Kayhan (Iran), October 10, 2023.

[6] Tasnim News Agency (Iran), November 23, 2023.

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