December 1, 2023 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 | By N. Katirachi and A. Savyon*
Iran, Palestinians | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1729


Officials in the Iranian regime have been openly praising Hamas, Iran's Palestinian proxy in the resistance axis, for its success in its October 7, 2023 invasion of southern Israel and massacre of over 1,200 civilians there, which Hamas dubbed the "Al-Aqsa Flood" operation. Three days after the scope of the brutal massacre became clear, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei chose a path of renouncing responsibility for the actions of its proxy Hamas, lest Iran's image in the West be tarnished.[1] However, statements by Iranian regime officials, politicians, military leaders, and media figures show that Iran is the guiding force behind Hamas as well as behind the other militant groups belonging to the resistance axis and that these groups all act in coordination with Iran in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen – and that Iran is pulling the strings behind the scenes as it hides behind Hamas.

Tehran is speaking out of both sides of its mouth: While claiming that it has no connection to the brutal Hamas massacre of civilians in Israel, regime officials are at the same time boasting of Iran's Islamic ideology being implemented by Hamas and Iran's other proxies in the resistance axis. IRGC

The close Iran-Hamas relationship was also reflected in statements by IRGC commander Gen. Hossein Salami, who explicitly said on October 28: "All it takes to break Israel is one of our operations."[2] Additionally, Iranian armed forces commander Ali Bagheri's November 21, 2023 said at the tomb of slain IRGC Qods Force commander Qassim Soleimani: "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. The martyr Soleimani is an excellent example, not just for the Iranian youth and people, but also for all freedom-seekers in the world... The enemies must know that Soleimani's blood still bubbles, [and] that the young people in the Islamic countries and the resistance axis will not stand idly by and will not allow the institution of arrogance [i.e. Israel] to continue to exist."[3]

Iranian regime encouragement and incentivizing of Hamas operatives and other members of the Iran-backed resistance axis was voiced by Alireza Panahian, cofounder of the Ammar think tank for Iran's universities. On November 20, 2023, he said:

"A time will come when the Zionist regime will be wiped off the face of the earth. Why shouldn't this be in our time? A time will come when there will be the last of the gatherings [with the chant] 'Death to the Zionist regime' [because it will have ceased to exist]. A day will come when the Palestinians sacrifice their last martyrs. A time will come when we witness the emptiness of the Zionists' power.

"The era of the Jewish Zionism is over. Perhaps the time has passed for the motto 'We will not let the enemy humiliate us' – perhaps we need instead to chant the phrase of Mukhtar [Al-Thaqafi, an early Shi'ite leader who called for avenging the murder of Imam Hussein in 680]: 'Oh victors, bring death!'[4]

"We have passed the first phase in which we seek martyrdom, and we have entered the phase of vengeance. Perhaps one day the motto 'Death to Israel!' will be just a memory for us. Today, the skull of the Zionist regime was broken, and the cup of its life was cracked. The time has come to tell the Palestinian people: 'Oh victors, bring death!'"[5]

Alireza Panahian (Source: Fars, Iran, November 20, 2023)

Several narratives can be observed in statements by Iranian regime officials about the Hamas massacres in southern Israel on October 7, 2023:

Narrative No. 1 – The Iranian Resistance Axis's Strategic Victory And Humiliation Of Israel

Hamas's October 7 invasion of southern Israel is viewed as an historic and strategic victory for the resistance axis, and it was described by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as "amazing" and "a wonderful lesson." Khamenei also called the Hamas massacres an irreversible and insurmountable defeat and failure for Israel. The historic humiliation of the "Satanic front" – in which Israel is "Little Satan" and the U.S. is the "Great Satan" – is even greater, in Iran's eyes, because it happened even though Israel is receiving U.S. aid.

Iranian regime officials have praised the massacres as having changed "the equation of the past 75 years"  and have called the operation "a shining and proud" victory. Other officials have called the Hamas operation "the resistance front's smartest, bravest, and most effective operation" and praised it for having killed an unprecedented number of Zionists. In conversations with Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad Nakhaleh and Hamas political bureau head Isma'il Haniyeh, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi praised the operation as "heroic." In addition, the Islamic scholar who serves as Tehran's Friday preacher called for kissing the hands of those who carried out the massacres, and Iran's culture minister designated October 7 the national "Day Of The Epic Valor Of The Young Palestinians.'"

Narrative No. 2 – Iran's Ideological Line: The Destruction Of Israel And The Failure Of The Zionist Enterprise

In many statements, senior officials have reiterated that the Zionist regime has collapsed as a consequence of the Hamas operation, which they said shattered the myth of the effectiveness of Israel's military and intelligence capabilities. The resulting war, they said, will soon lead to the total destruction of Israel, and they depict the surprise nature of the attack as proof that the liberation of Palestine is not a myth and, in the words of IRGC Deputy Commander Ali Fadavi, "the shock that the resistance forces' strike caused to the Zionists will remain until this cancerous growth disappears from the map of the world." Officials have also stated that the operation crushed Israel's security, and led to the failure of its "steel-clad army," proving that the Zionist idea has failed.

Narrative No. 3 – The War Of Religion And Civilization Between The West And Islam

Iranian regime officials have spoken about a religious war between Islam and infidels – that is, the U.S., the West, and the Jews – and stated that Islam will win in the end. According to their reasoning, the one responsible for the deaths of the "oppressed" – i.e. the Palestinians, according to the terminology of the Islamic Republic – is the U.S., which is itself waging the current war in Gaza, and this justifies the slogan "Death to America." IRGC commander Hossein Salami has said: "God did not establish a way for the infidels to overpower the Muslims. The condition for divine victory is for us to simply be present on the battlefield." Other Iranian officials, including intelligence chief Esmail Khatib, have stressed that the most important achievement of the October 7 operation was the defeat of America's hegemony in the Middle East, as America flees the region. IRGC Aerospace Force commander Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh even mocked the U.S., claiming that it has been sending Iran messages begging it not to join the war.

Narrative No. 4 – Attributing The Success Of The Hamas Attack And Massacre To Hamas's Belief In The Quran And Islam

This aspect was particularly notable in statements by IRGC commander Salami, who said that "the infiltration of 1,200 [Hamas operatives] via the walls, and their historic victory, constitute a practical implementation of the Quran" and proves that belief in the Quran leads to victory. Other regime officials have even attributed godly qualities to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in light of his analysis of the Quran that predicted the destruction of Israel.

Narrative No. 5 – Justifying The Massacre As Permissible According To International Law

Iranian officials have justified the Hamas massacre by claiming that because the Palestinians' land is occupied, they had a natural right, enshrined in international law, to carry out the October 7 operation. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has called such use of force justified and legitimate, adding that the killing of Israeli civilians is a consequence of, and natural response to, the Israeli occupation. Similarly, Supreme Leader Khamenei has denied that Hamas massacred Israeli civilians, and his mouthpiece, the Kayhan daily, has even accused Israel of faking images of children being murdered and of inflating the number of Israeli civilian casualties. Also, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian has criticized the comparisons of Hamas to ISIS, calling this a media crime against "a group that is advancing freedom."

Narrative No. 6 – Warning That The War Is Likely To Expand To Additional Fronts

Despite the Iranian regime's attempts to distance itself from the events of October 7 by claiming that Hamas had acted entirely independently, since that day, many regime officials have warned that if Israel continues its fighting in Gaza, additional fronts will be launched against it, presumably by means of Iran's other proxies in the region. Supreme Leader Khamenei said as much himself: "If the crimes of the Zionist regimes continue, nobody will be able to stop the Muslims and the forces of the resistance."

This document will review key statements by Iranian regime officials and media outlets about the events of October 7 and the Hamas "Al-Aqsa Flood" operation.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

In a speech at a meeting with Iranian students, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei said: "One of the most important things that the Al-Aqsa Flood operation did was to show [that] the Palestinians had humiliated the usurper regime [Israel] and its supporters, by means of their bravery, and, today, with their patience. This is a wonderful lesson. They cannot compensate for this blow that they received."[6]

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (Source:, November 1, 2023)

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, October 25, 2023

At an October 25, 2023 conference held by the National Congress of the Martyrs of Lorestan Province, Khamenei said: "The blow that was inflicted in [the October 7 operation] in this attack by Palestinian fighters against the usurping regime is decisive. There has never before been such a blow against this regime, and as we have previously said, it cannot be healed. As time passes, it becomes increasingly clear that it cannot be healed."[7]

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, October 17, 2023

Khamenei said on October 17, 2023: "If the crimes of the Zionist regime continue, nobody will be able to stop the Muslims and the forces of the resistance... Officials from several countries talked with officials from our country, and defended the usurping Zionist regime. They protested the killing of civilians by the Palestinians. First of all, this statement is incorrect and contradicts the reality – that is, the people in the settlements are not civilians. They are all armed. Even assuming they are civilians – how many [Israeli] civilians were killed? The usurping regime is now killing 100 times more civilians – women, children, the young, and the elderly."[8]

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, October 10, 2023

Khamenei said on October 10, 2023: "The usurping Zionist regime has suffered a military and intelligence failure that is irreversible... My emphasis is that this is 'irreparable.' I am saying that this destructive earthquake successfully destroyed some of the main foundations of this usurping regime's rule that cannot easily be rebuilt... It is not reasonable that the usurping Zionist regime will manage to rebuild these foundations, even with all the noise it is making and with all the support it is getting today from the West.

"I want to say that since Saturday, October 7, 2023, the Zionist regime is not the same Zionist regime that it was before...  Oh Zionist oppressors! You are to blame, you caused this storm, you brought this tragedy upon yourselves. The [Islamic] ummah has no choice but to respond zealously and bravely to this hostility [on Israel's part]... This operation is the work of the Palestinians themselves. The smart planners, the brave youth, and the fighters who sacrificed themselves have managed to create an epic, and with God's help this epic will be a giant step towards saving Palestine."[9]

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, November 6, 2023

At a November 6, 2023 press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Shia' Al-Sudani, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said: "After the struggle and the steadfastness of the resistance against the Zionist regime and the defeat that it has been dealt, this regime has collapsed."[10]

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (Source: Tasnim, Iran, November 6, 2023)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, October 18, 2023

Raisi said on October 18, 2023: "[The Hamas] fighters showed that the initiative is in their hands, and they dealt a great defeat to the enemies by virtue of the storming that comprised the Al-Aqsa Flood [operation]. This was a crushing defeat for the Zionist regime, which has seven intelligence agencies to ensure its security. Aside from the Iron Dome, and the Mossad, there are six other intelligence agencies, but the Al-Aqsa Flood and the will of the Palestinian fighters caused heavy intelligence, security, and military failures for the Zionist regime."[11]

IRGC Commander Gen. Hossein Salami, October 16, 2023

IRGC commander Hossein Salami said on October 16, 2023: "The radius of the impact of the Al-Aqsa Flood operation is global... The Zionist regime suffered not only defeat, but also humiliation, and Hamas, on its own, caused them a great defeat, with no reliance on anyone else. It makes no difference what the Zionists do in the future – this humiliation of the regime will not be rectified. The war in Gaza is the first phase in the early collapse of the false Zionist regime."[12]

IRGC commander Gen. Hossein Salami (Source: Mashregh News, Iran, October 28, 2023)

IRGC Commander Gen. Hossein Salami, October 28, 2023

Salami said on October 28, 2023: "The blow suffered by the enemy in the Al-Aqsa Flood operation was unprecedented, special, and entirely surprising... The Israelis slept soundly because they believed that their intelligence and military apparatus, which are equipped with the most advanced weaponry, would take care of them. But the Al-Aqsa Flood ruined everything, and [the resistance fighters] reconquered territory larger than the Gaza Strip... All it takes to break Israel is one of our operations. Today, Israel is a country of anxiety and terrible nightmares... [Israel] cannot fight Hamas. The land is Hamas's strength, and if they fight on land, they will be swallowed up and Gaza will become their graveyard."[13]

IRGC Commander Gen. Hossein Salami, October 30, 2023

He said on October 30, 2023: "They [Israel] does not want history to record that a besieged and lightly armed group triumphed over all the strength of falsehood... Until three weeks ago, the Zionists – who are the essence of enemy cunning and power – believed that insecurity and fear have meaning only on the other side of [their] walls, and belong [solely] to the Palestinian people. [The Zionists] thought that they were untouchable due to the support of America, England, Germany, and France. They thought that they had advanced security systems, that they controlled everything, and that not a single movement was hidden from them. They thought they had a strong army, and they slept soundly with these ideas. On October 7, all these ideas collapsed. Up until [October 7], they had been able to create the impression that insecurity cannot be brought to the occupied territories [i.e. all of Israel], but they suffered the greatest failure."[14]

IRGC Commander Gen. Hossein Salami, November 9, 2023

On November 9, 2023, Salami said: "The Zionist regime suffered a terrible and irreversible defeat in the Al-Aqsa Flood operation. Gaza is today the grave of America and the Zionist regime. The regime that is occupying Jerusalem cannot regain the power that it lost. The fear in the hearts of the Muslims disappeared when the Palestinian youth [carried out the October 7 attacks], and the nightmare of destruction will not leave the minds of the Zionist regime and America."[15]

IRGC Commander Gen. Hossein Salami, November 10, 2023

Salami said on November 10, 2023: "These days' events in Gaza are the manifestation on the ground of the divine Quranic verses. The mystery of the Palestinians' sudden incursion, via all the walls, is still unsolved... The Israeli army had a strong defense system around Gaza – yet no one paid attention to this incursion. This is nothing other than a manifestation of what the Quranic verses say...

"History will not forget this amazing victory. This victory was an event that showed how the power of faith can win... Today, the world is united more than ever against America and Israel... God did not allow the infidels to overpower the Muslims. The condition for divine victory is for us to simply be present on the battlefield... America will not be able to keep the Zionist regime on life support."[16]

Tehran Friday Sermon Preacher Ahmad Khatami, October 13, 2023

Tehran Friday preacher Ahmad Khatami said in his October 13, 2023 sermon: "The Al-Aqsa Flood operation was unique, if not rare, in the time that Palestine has been occupied. Everything has changed. The global equation has changed. This situation will undoubtedly lead this story to the point where Supreme Leader [Khamenei] said that Israel will not survive another 25 years. What the resistance front did was legal and legitimate defense... This was totally legitimate defense, and the resistance front must be thanked for it... The leader of [Iran's Islamic] Revolution said, rightly, that he kisses the foreheads, hands, and arms of these forces that invaded [Israel]. It can be said that this nation also kisses the foreheads, hands, and arms of these heroes."[17]

Abdolrahim Mousavi, Commander Of The Islamic Republic Of Iran Army, November 9, 2023

Iranian army commander Abdolrahim Mousavi said on November 9, 2023: "The Al-Aqsa Flood operation is a turning point in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine, and it has accelerated the collapse of the Zionist regime. The aerial bombing of defenseless people who have no protection and no shelter in their homes, schools, public places, hospitals, and elsewhere cannot [be compared] to those moments in which those great people [i.e. the Hamas operatives] crossed the intelligence and operational barriers of the infamous [Zionist] regime... The complete destruction of the Zionist regime will happen earlier [than previously thought]. This spider's house will collapse, and we hope for this."[18]

Abdolrahim Mousavi, Commander Of The Islamic Republic Of Iran Army (Source: Fars, Iran, November 9, 2023)

Ebrahim Jabari, Advisor To The IRGC Commander, October 22, 2023

Ebrahim Jabari, who is advisor to IRGC commander Salami, said on October 22, 2023: "The deep wound [caused] to the body of the Zionist regime by the Al-Aqsa Flood [operation] cannot be rectified, and will destroy that regime... The successful operation by the Palestinian fighters refuted the myth of the intelligence effectiveness of the Zionist regime and proved that it is closer to collapse... The wound caused to the body of the monster of crime and child slaughterer, the Zionist regime, will become worse and will accelerate its collapse."[19]

Jabari, advisor to IRGC commander (Source: Tasnim, October 22, 2023)

Iranian Majlis Speaker Mohammad Baqr Qalibaf, October 13, 2023

Iranian Majlis Speaker Mohammad Baqr Qalibaf said on October 13, 2023: "Within one week, the young Palestinians showed, and proved, that Israel is a great lie... The Zionist regime used to say that it is the supreme power – but the Palestinian youth movements from Gaza showed them that they are a well-equipped army. At the height of surprise, the Palestinians carried out the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, broke the Zionists' pride, and took them captive... The Palestinian fighters and Palestinian groups had faith, but they were oppressed and alone; the Al-Aqsa Flood operation showed that victory is one step away, and their faith was strengthened."[20]

Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib, October 21, 2023

Intelligence minister Esmail Khatib said on October 21, 2023: "A harsh and deadly vengeance is coming... The Al-Aqsa Flood operation is the resistance front's smartest, bravest, and most effective operation, and it will cause a serious strategic change to the regional and global equations."[21]

Kayhan Article, October 8, 2023

An article published October 8, 2023 in the regime mouthpiece Kayhan stated: "The Palestinian battalions' extensive incursion into the cities and communities surrounding Gaza, that led to the absolute conquest of seven cities and communities, showed the Palestinians' total readiness, and, at the same time, the surprise and helplessness of the state, intelligence, and military forces of the [Zionist] regime. This regime must divide its shameful history into two parts, [from its establishment] up to Saturday [October 7, 2023] and from [that] Saturday onwards, [and now] must it must await its complete and certain collapse. Taking a considerable number of Zionist army captives was an additional blow that was carried out by the Palestinian resistance against this regime."[22]

Kayhan Front Page, October 8, 2023

On its front page on October 8, 2023, Kayhan wrote: "The Palestinian resistance forces' unprecedented ground advance, and their incursion into the Israeli cities and towns, as part of the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, caused the Zionists unprecedented losses – losses that have never been seen in this regime's entire shameful history. Within one day, this regime's official sources announced over 110 Zionist deaths, and 900 wounded!... The Palestinian resistance forces' advance in the Zionist cities, and their takeover of at least seven cities and towns, was very much welcomed among the citizens of the region, and by the resistance groups."[23]

Article By Kayhan Editor Hassan Shariatmadari, October 18, 2023

Shariatmadari wrote in Kayhan on October 18, 2023: "One of the prominent and decisive initiatives in the Al-Aqsa Flood was the simultaneous filming by the resistance fighters of their successes in the various operations, and the description of the humiliated state of the Zionist soldiers in the face of the resistance forces. The resistance forces shared these videos on social media and updated global public opinion about the magnitude of the operation and the heavy and humiliating defeat of the Zionists."[24]

Hossein Shariatmadari, Kayhan editor (source: Fars, September 11, 2023)

Kayhan Article, October 26, 2023

An October 26 article in Kayhan stated: "[Regarding] this historic humiliation of the front of Satan, it is not inconceivable that the Al-Aqsa Flood of October 7, 2023 is the Israelis' most unique military and intelligence failure after the Khaybar war [i.e. the massacre of the Jews at Khaybar in the Arabian Peninsula by the Prophet Muhammad and his forces in 629]. This operation was such a powerful slap, with its planning and wise execution, that it confused and maddened them..."[25]

Kayhan Article, October 28, 2023

An article published October 28, 2023 in Kayhan stated: "The comprehensive and joint operation called Al-Aqsa Flood, carried out by the zealous young Palestinians, shocked the Zionist regime. The Al-Aqsa Flood operation made the message of the oppressed Palestinian people reach the ears of the world, as honorably as possible, and humiliated the Zionist regime in the eyes of everyone."[26]

Kayhan Article, November 11, 2023

On November 11, 2023, Kayhan published an article that stated: "Israel, that claims to have the strongest army in the region, and is fully supported militarily by the American army, took the greatest failure by not managing to eliminate and destroy a small group like Hamas... In exchange for the heavy price of war paid by the resistance, it had a great achievement that changed, for the first time, the equation of the past 75 years, and with the operation of all the resistance groups in the region, America and Israel both realized that from now on, they would be harmed if they were to attack [the resistance]!"[27]

Sa'adollah Zarei, Kayhan Editorial Board Member And International Affairs Expert, November 1, 2023

Kayhan editorial board member and international affairs expert Sa'adollah Zarei said on November 1, 2023: "The Al-Aqsa Flood operation changed the power relations with the Israeli side, and no event can overshadow this great success."[28]

Sa'adollah Zarei, Kayhan editorial board member (Source: Fars, Iran, November 1, 2023)

IRGC Deputy Commander Ali Fadavi, October 17, 2023

At an October 17, 2023 change of command  ceremony, Ali Fadavi said: "The Zionist enemy has not yet emerged from the great shock of the greatest defeat in its history. This strategic failure will not leave the minds of all those who have plundered the holy land of occupied Palestine for years. The shock that the resistance forces' strike caused to the Zionists will remain until this cancerous growth disappears from the map of the world. The Zionist regime always does evil, and one day the Islamic resistance will destroy it."[29]

IRGC deputy commander Ali Fadavi (Source: Khabaronline, October 17, 2023)

Majlis Member Mahdi Sharifian, October 8, 2023

Iranian Majlis member Mahdi Sharifian said on October 8, 2023: "Today we are all proud of the Palestinian resistance groups because they achieved strength and progress to the point where they can attack the heavily armed Zionist army. The [Al-Aqsa Flood] operation turned the Zionist regime's dream of the Nile to the Euphrates into a nightmare for it... Today is the day of vengeance, the day of justice, and the day that Israel must be destroyed. The destruction of Israel is imminent, and it can be accomplished because of the Zionist regime's political instability and social schisms."[30]

Majlis member Mahdi Sharifian (Source: Tasnim, October 8, 2023)

Kayhan Article, October 14, 2023

In an article published October 14, 2023, Kayhan wrote: "This [Al-Aqsa Flood] operation is indeed a great victory, and a great defeat and an unprecedented humiliation for the Zionists. We declare with certainty that except for a handful of people in the upper echelon of Hamas and [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad, no one was aware of the details of this operation and that actually 'unmatched intelligence security' was one of the most important reasons for this operation's success... We see no need to explain that the mass media is controlled by global Zionism. However, the Palestinians managed to defeat the Zionist media empire with the tiniest media equipment that they have at their disposal. Everyone knows that the Zionists always censor the statistics concerning their victims and losses... But the photos of the operation, the destruction of the Zionists, their capture, and the simultaneous and sometimes livestreamed footage, and the pictures, left the Zionists with no choice [but to acknowledge their defeat]."[31]

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, October 29, 2023

After Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was interviewed on CNN on October 29, 2023,[32] the Iranian outlet Tasnim reported that he had said: "What happened on October 7 in occupied Palestine was [the result of] a decision made by the Palestinians, and, taking into account that their land is occupied, they saw that they have a natural right to defend their land. The operation... that they carried out was correct according to the guidelines and the explicit text of international law in defense of land that is occupied. The people whose land is occupied can even use weapons to get back their occupied land... We never approve of the killing of civilians, but this deed by the Palestinian resistance is a reaction to 75 years of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people... Hamas is a liberation movement... and thus in response to 75 years of occupation, the operation was carried out... What happened was a natural response to 75 years of crime, genocide, and occupation."[33]

Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian (Source: Tasnim, October 30, 2023)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, October 16, 2023

Amir-Abdollahian said on October 16, 2023: "If Israel's crimes against Gaza continue, any operation is acceptable... The West, in its propaganda, wants to compare Hamas to ISIS.. but they [Hamas] comprises people who are trying to remove the occupation from their land, according to the law. Comparing Hamas to ISIS is a media crime against a group that is advancing freedom."[34]

Kayhan Front Page, October 12, 2023

Kayhan wrote on its October 12, 2023 front page: "Israel failed on the battlefield, [and thus] began to falsify reports and the killing of children, [and] as the number of Zionist victims tops 1,200, the Zionist regime's propaganda machine is trying to accuse the Palestinian forces of killing children, with a distortion of reality. But many acknowledged that Hamas did not kill children and that the photos of the killing of children were faked."[35]

IRGC Commander Hossein Salami, October 8, 2023

Salami said on October 8,. 2023: "Today we are witnessing the birth of a new Palestine based on greatness and might. This strong Palestine has brought fear and terror to the homes of the Zionists. Today the Palestinians are humiliating the soldiers of the Zionist regime, without any resistance on their part."[36]

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, October 8, 2023

President Raisi said in an October 8, 2023 telephone conversation with Ziyad Nakhaleh, the secretary general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Isma'il Haniyeh, Hamas political bureau head: "In the name of the Iranian government and nation, I congratulate the Palestinian people and [I also congratulate] the [Palestinian] fighters and the Palestinian resistance forces for their brilliant and impressive victory...  What happened in the occupied territories and in the fighting against the usurper Zionist regime was a mighty and unique event of the last 70 years, and truly, you gladdened the Islamic ummah with this innovative and triumphant operation... What happened with the victorious operation of the Palestinian fighters in the occupied territories was the realization of the 70-year expectation of the Palestinian nation and the Islamic ummah, and, with God's help, we will soon pray together at Al-Aqsa mosque [in Jerusalem]."[37]

Iranian Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili, October 24, 2023

Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Esmaili said on October 24, 2023: "The epic of October 7 is unprecedented in the Palestinian people's struggle. This number of killed Zionists is unprecedented in history. We in the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution have designated this day [in the Persian calendar] as the 'Day Of The Epic Valor Of The Young Palestinians.'"[38]

Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili (Source: IRNA, Iran, October 24, 2023)

Ali Akbar Velayati, Advisor To Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, October 7, 2023

In a letter to Hamas political bureau head Isma'il Haniyeh and Palestinian Islamic Jihad secretary general Ziyad Nakhaleh, Velayati wrote: "The pictures that were published today [October 7, 2023] from the Palestinian resistance operation against the criminal Zionist regime – [an operation] that destroyed the hegemony of this regime – are a great victory that will lead to fear and amazement among the enemies and to joy and gladness among the Muslims worldwide, particularly in Western Asia [i.e. the Middle East]. The era of the terrorist Zionist regime's control and tyranny has ended, and what is happening today in the occupied territories is [but] a small manifestation of the growing might and authority of the Islamic resistance front in Palestine. The Al-Aqsa Flood operation, which is a response to the Zionist regime's ongoing crimes in the occupied territories, has fundamentally changed the power relations in occupied Palestine, and will place the Zionist regime in a position of even greater weakness."[39]

Ali Akbar Velayati, Advisor To Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, October 11, 2023

Velayati said in an October 11, 2023 phone call with Haniyeh: "The Muslims salute the sacrifices and the proud deeds of the Palestinian fighters who are honorably defending the strong fortifications and supporting them with all their hearts. Without a doubt, the Zionists are the main losers in this precious and decisive historic scenario... The strategy of the resistance against the enemies in the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, and the victories achieved in the history of the struggles of the brave Palestinian nation, are unprecedented. The Palestinian people has shown that today it is one of the most important strongholds of the resistance against the Zionists."[40]

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister For Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani, October 30, 2023

On Iranian television, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani said: "Hamas has succeeded well in administering the region in recent years, when Gaza was cruelly besieged by the Zionists. In fact, this was an expression of the intelligence and prescience of the resistance. The operation that happened on October 7 underlined exactly this point. The point that I wanted to stress is that this incident on October 7 caused an irreversible earthquake in the Zionist regime's military security system."[41]

Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani (Source: Tasnim, October 30, 2023)

Kayhan Article, October 10, 2023

Kayhan wrote in an October 10, 2023 article: "This operation [Al-Aqsa Flood] was unique in the might of its planning and in its coordination of the resistance groups that allowed its execution, in 30 minutes in an occupied area three times the size of the Gaza Strip... The takeover of parts of the occupied territories and of some Zionist cities and towns, the clashes on the ground in the streets of Israel, and so on, broke the taboo of [the impossibility of] liberating Jerusalem, and showed that the Zionist regime is highly permeable... The liberation of Palestine is not a myth or a slogan, and it can be done."[42]

Kayhan Article, October 25, 2023

In an article published October 25, 2023, Kayhan wrote: "Who would have believed that young people in Gaza and the West Bank who once filled their little hands with stones to throw at the cars and tanks of the regime occupying Jerusalem would [one day, i.e. hinting at assistance from Iran] become experienced commanders who, in a unique operation, would break through the Zionist regime's billion-dollar security fence and cause it more losses than in all the Arab wars [put together]?"[43]

IRGC Coordination Department Head Mohammad Reza Naqdi, November 2, 2023

Top IRGC official Mohammad Reza Naqdi said on November 2, 2023: "The [Israelis'] fences and railroad and asphalt roads, concrete barriers, outposts, ground surveillance [systems], mighty guard towers, and extensive spy networks could not stop the Palestinians. We must explain this influence of faith – how 1,200 people broke through the line and surprised the enemy. This can be explained. We can be certain that this path is the path of victory."[44]

Mohammad Reza Naqdi (Tasnim, November 2, 2023)

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani, October 7, 2023

The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Nasser Kanaani, said on October 7, 2023: "Congratulations to the great nation of Palestine and to all the resistance groups and anti-Zionist streams in the region and in Palestine, on the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people in the Al-Aqsa Flood operation. Today's operation is a turning point in the continuation of the Palestinian people's armed resistance against the Zionists... This operation showed that the resistance movements in Palestine have excellent confidence [in that they can] carry out [such a] a joint operation against the occupiers... In this operation, the Zionists were badly surprised. This issue has proven yet again how fragile the Zionists are... We hope that the resistance movements will succeed in achieving more and more victories on the path to liberating Palestine and actualizing the aspirations of the Palestinian people."[45]

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani (Source: ISNA, Iran, October 7, 2023)

Majlis Speaker Mohammad Baqr Qalibaf, October 23, 2023

At an October 23. 2023 Majlis session on Palestine attended by ambassadors of Islamic countries, Qalibaf said: "We must not forget the situation of the Palestinians before the Al-Aqsa Flood operation... The Palestinians reacted to it on October 7. In effect, that day the Palestinians decided to die once honorably instead of dying every day. The heroic attack on the Zionist outposts that day was a response to years of unprecedented cruelty and suffering. In fact, it cannot be expected that a rational and heroic people see this much violence and submit or be silent against it."[46]

Qalibaf (Source: Tasnim, October 23, 2023)

Iranian Army Commander Mohammad Bagheri, November 1, 2023

On November 1, 2023, Iranian Army commander Bagheri said: "The Palestinian fighters' brave, surprising, and unique defense in the Al-Aqsa Flood operation is the beginning of a new chapter for Palestine, the region, and the Islamic world. This operation showed that all the concepts built by the Zionists and their masters were empty and meaningless, and that all their hollow strength collapsed in this perfect and precise operation. There can be no correction of or compensation for this usurper regime's scandalous failure."[47]

Iranian Army Commander Mohammad Bagheri, November 1, 2023

At the "Stable Iran" conference, on November 1, 2023, Bagheri said: "What happened in the recent operation was a result of the years-long oppression by the Zionists, and attributing this operation to any other countries [i.e. Iran] is a coverup for this failure. 'The steel-clad army' and the unique security and might of the Zionists collapsed on October 7, showing that the stolen land of Palestine is no place for immigrants... The Palestinian fighters' operation was full of might and showed the depth of their intelligence and operational capabilities... Palestine decided to arise and take its right instead of dying by degrees."[48]

Mohammad Bagheri (Source: Mashregh News, November 1, 2023)

Ali Akbar Velayati, Advisor To Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, October 30, 2023

Advisor Ali Akbar Velayati said at the October 30, 2023 "Gaza Is The Symbol Of Resistance And Uprising" conference: "The Palestinian groups' strategic and unprecedented battle in the occupied territories that was carried out in response to the decades of crimes by the apartheid Zionist regime added another proud and shining page to the strife of the Palestinian nation."[49]

Velayati (Source: Tasnim, October 30, 2023)

Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian In Jeddah, October 18, 2023

In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on October 18, 2023, Amir-Abdollahian said: "Without a doubt, the Al-Aqsa Flood operation proved that the Palestinian issue lives. The situation in Palestine will be different after Al-Aqsa Flood than it was before. This operation proved that Palestine belongs to the Palestinians."[50]

​​Tehran Friday Prayer Imam Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, October 30, 2023

Ayatollah Khatami said on October 30, 2023: "The motto 'Death to Israel' is the motto today in the world. The promise of the Quran is that this regime has no other end but humiliation and a fall. The blood of the Palestinian martyrs will defeat the Zionists and their supporters... 500,000 Zionists have left the settlements and said that they will not return because these areas are not [safe] to live in... This great man [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei] talks like God. The analysis of this great man is that, God willing, victory will not be far off for Palestine and its people. His announcement is a Quranic analysis... The hands of the Americans are stained with the blood of the oppressed, and they deserve [the motto] 'Death to America.'"[51]

Tehran Friday preacher Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami (Source: Tasnim, November 10, 2023)

Iranian Army Commander Abdolrahim Mousavi, November 16, 2023

Iranian Army commander Abdolrahim Mousavi said on November 16, 2023: "The Al-Aqsa Flood operation had two aspects: First, it was an unprecedented, astounding operation, and an irreversible event for the Zionists. Second, it is a strategic turning point in the struggle to liberate the oppressed Palestinian people... and it will accelerate the process of the disintegration of this regime [Israel]... America and those who are silent in light of the crimes of this regime are disgusting. The nature of America, that wanted to show a different face via the media, has again become clear to the world. This is the America of Hiroshima, Fallujah, Mosul, Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on. Obviously, it is updated and more arrogant, and relies on the useless international organizations... Had there been a [possible] future for a certain regime [Israel], it would not have shown [to the world] a face that is worse than the face of animals."[52]

IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, November 13, 2023

IRGC Aerospace Force commander Hajizadeh said on November 13, 2023: "The Zionist regime... will not live long. The victory of the Palestinian fighters is a great strategic victory... The Americans are no threat to Iran – in their correspondence they sometimes corresponded with Iran three times in one night and all this correspondence [consists of] requests and pleas. Iran is not in a situation in which anyone would want to threaten it. We are at the height of our power, and we have prepared ourselves for any scenario."[53]

IRGC Aerospace Force commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh (Source: Tasnim, November 13, 2023)

Iranian Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib, November 4, 2023

Intelligence Minister Khatib said on November 4, 2023: "During these days, the historic Al-Aqsa Flood operation by the Islamic resistance of Palestine has caused an additional ignominious failure in the region against the U.S., and has completely disrupted the false glory of the aggressive Zionism."[54]

Iranian Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib (Source: Tasnim, November 4, 2023)

Iranian Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib, November 11, 2023

Minister Khatib said on November 11, 2023: "The Hamas jihadis' operation is an additional defeat for America in the region. The important point of this operation was the defeat of the American force in the region and in the world. The hegemony of the American power, that claimed it had military, intelligence, economic, and political support in the Zionist regime and exchanged it for an ignominious withdrawal from the region, has disintegrated."[55]

Hamas Representative In Iran Khaled Qaddoumi, November 14, 2023

Khaled Qaddoumi, Hamas's representative in Iran, said on November 14, 2023: "[President] Biden conducted the war in Gaza before Netanyahu did. [U.S. Secretary of State Antony] Blinken and Biden are in the Israeli war room in Tel Aviv. The current war is not between Israel and Palestine – it is between Islam and the arrogance [the U.S.]... If Gaza fails, it will be the turn of Beirut, Amman, Cairo, and other places. When we defend Gaza, we are defending Tehran, and the security of Beirut. Today, the Gaza residents are defending the security of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi [that is, Iran's adversaries in the Middle East]. Today, this is an historic opportunity."[56]

Hamas representative in Iran Khaled Qaddoumi (Source: Tasnim, November 14, 2023)

* N. Katirachi is a Research Fellow at MEMRI; A. Savyon is Director of the Iran Media Studies Project.


[2] Mashregh (Iran) October 287, 2023.

[3] Tasnim (Iran), November 21, 2023.

[4] The call "Oh victor, bring death!" was used in battles during the time of the Prophet Muhammad and in the time that followed. It was used by early Muslims to report that victory is near. Among Shi'ites, its use is associated with Mukthar Al-Thaqafi's call to avenge Imam Hussein's death in the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE.

[5] Fars (Iran), November 20, 2023.

[6], November 1, 2023.

[7], October 25, 2023.

[8] Tasnim (Iran), October 17, 2023.

[9], October 10, 2023.

[10] Tasnim (Iran), November 6, 2023.

[11] Tasnim (Iran), October 18, 2023.

[12] Tasnim (Iran), October 16, 2023.

[13] Mashregh News (Iran), October 28, 2023.

[14] Tasnim (Iran), October 30, 2023.

[15] Fars (Iran), November 9, 2023.

[16] Tasnim (Iran), November 10, 2023.

[17] Mashregh News (Iran), October 13, 2023.

[18] Fars (Iran), November 9, 2023.

[19] Tasnim (Iran), October 22, 2023.

[20] Tasnim (Iran), October 13, 2023.

[21], October 21, 2023.

[22] Kayhan (Iran), October 8, 2023.

[23] Kayhan (Iran), October 8, 2023.

[24] Kayhan (Iran), October 18, 2023.

[25] Kayhan (Iran), October 26, 2023.

[26] Kayhan (Iran), October 26, 2023.

[27] Kayhan (Iran), November 11, 2023.

[28] Fars (Iran), November 1, 2023.

[29], October 17, 2023.

[30] Tasnim (Iran), October 8, 2023.

[31] Kayhan (Iran), October 14, 2023.

[32] For the actual interview, see, October 29, 2023.

[33] Tasnim (Iran), October 30, 2023.

[34] Tasnim (Iran), October 16, 2023.

[35] Kayhan (Iran), October 12, 2023.

[36] Fars (Iran), October 8, 2023.

[37] Tasnim (Iran), October 8, 2023.

[40] Mashregh (Iran), October 11, 2023.

[41] Tasnim (Iran), November 16, 2023.

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

[43] Kayhan (Iran), October 25, 2023.

[44] Tasnim (Iran), November 2, 2023.

[45] ISNA (Iran), October 7, 2023.

[46], October 23, 2023.

[47] Mashregh (Iran), November 1, 2023.

[48] Fars (Iran), November 1, 2023.

[49] Tasnim (Iran), October 30, 2023.

[50], October 18, 2023.

[51] Tasnim (Iran), October 30, 2023.

[52] Tasnim (Iran), November 16, 2023.

[53] Tasnim (Iran), November 13, 2023.

[54] Tasnim (Iran), November 4, 2023.

[55] Tasnim (Iran), November 11, 2023.

[56] Tasnim (Iran), November 14, 2023.

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