The supreme leader of Iran reportedly informed the head of Hamas at a meeting in Tehran earlier this month that the terror group could expect no direct help from Iran in its war with Israel, Reuters reported.
Iranian and Hamas officials told Reuters that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei informed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that while Iran would continue to offer the group political and moral support, it would not directly intervene.
Khamenei also reportedly urged Haniyeh to shut down any public calls from Hamas leadership for Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah to join their fight against Israel.
While Hamas refused to respond to questions from Reuters about the claims of the unnamed sources, after Reuters released its report, the terror group responded in a statement posted on the messaging platform Telegram calling the claims “baseless.”
While both Iran and Hamas publicly announced the November 4 meeting in Tehran, several Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, have stated that they do not wish to see the conflict escalate throughout the region.
Since the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, Iran’s so-called Axis of Resistance has mobilized on multiple fronts simultaneously for the first time.
Hezbollah has engaged in the heaviest fighting in nearly 20 years, attacking Israel from southern Lebanon. At the same time, Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria have attacked US forces more than 60 times since October 17. Meanwhile, the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched drones and missiles against Israel.
Sources close to Hezbollah told Reuters that the group was taken by surprise by the October 7 attack, and its fighters near the border with Israel were not even alerted in advance forcing them to rapidly call up fighters.
According to the Carnegie Middle East Center’s Mohanad Hage Ali, an expert on Hezbollah, the October 7 Hamas attacks left Iran’s Axis of Resistance with the difficult choice of confronting an enemy with superior firepower. He said when Hamas woke up a bear, it made it difficult for its allies “to stand in the same position as you.”