Israel-Hamas War: Iran's Role and Comments

Iran’s top leaders applauded Hamas for its multi-pronged attack on Israel in public comments, contacts with leaders of the militant factions in Gaza, and in Iranian media. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the unprecedented operation “a devastating earthquake” and a “great calamity” for Israel, even though the Palestinian group committed murderous atrocities and hostage seizures of Israeli civilians from homes, streets and even a music festival in central and southern Israel. “We’ve never seen such savagery in the history of the state...since the Holocaust,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on October 10. President Joe Biden described the attack as “sheer evil.”

A rally in Tehran on Oct. 7, 2023 in support of the Palestinians (The New York Times) 

In a telephone call with Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas political bureau chief, President Ebrahim Raisi called the attack “the fulfillment of the 70-year-old expectation of the Palestinian nation and the Islamic Ummah (nation).” Iran has made no secret of its longstanding support for Hamas, which dates back to its formation in 1988. Through the Revolutionary Guards, Iran has provided arms, training, and funding for Hamas fighters and hosted its political leadership in Tehran. The United States has sanctioned more than 400 Iranian individuals and entities for supporting Hamas, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted on October 8. Israeli forces have found Iranian-made mortar rounds in one of the Israeli villages attacked by Hamas. The following are Iranian statements since the war with Israel began on Oct. 7, 2023. 


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

In a speech on Oct. 17, 2023:

Khamenei“The bombardment of Gaza must stop. The world is witnessing the Zionist regime's genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, immediately. We must respond, we must react to what is happening in Gaza.”

“If these crimes continue, Muslims and the Resistance forces will lose their patience and no one will be able to stop them. They should know this and they should not expect others to stop certain groups from doing certain things.”

“Whatever crimes the Zionist regime commits will fail to compensate for its disgraceful defeat during the Al-Aqsa Storm operation.”

“Based on various [sources of] information, the Americans are the policymakers and regulators of the current policies of the Zionist regime. The United States is responsible in this matter and must accept its responsibility.”

In a speech on Oct. 10, 2023: “The cause of this destructive storm was the continuous brutality and ferocity of the fake usurper regime against the Palestinian nation. This regime cannot conceal its monstrous and devious face in the attack on Gaza and the massacre of Gazans through the act of lying or by playing the victim. By speaking nonsense, it cannot attribute the bravery of the Palestinian youth and their intelligent plans to non-Palestinians.”

“From the military and intelligence aspects, this defeat is irreparable. It is a devastating earthquake. It is unlikely that the usurping regime will be able to use the help of the West to repair the deep impacts that this incident has left on its ruling structures.”

“This great calamity was brought on by the actions of the Zionists themselves; Because when you exceed the limits of ferocity and brutality, you should anticipate a ‘storm.’”

“The current government ruling the usurping regime is to blame for this, for it did not hesitate to take any sort of brutal measures against the oppressed Palestinian nation.”

“Did the zealous Palestinian nation, with its thousands-year-old history, have any other choice but to create a ‘storm’?”

“The calculation of the illegitimate regime and its supporters in this regard is also wrong. The rulers and decision-makers of the Zionist regime and their supporters should know that these actions will bring a greater disaster upon them, and the Palestinian people, with a firmer determination, will slap their hideous faces harder in response to these crimes.”

“Of course, we defend Palestine and its struggle…but those who say the work of Palestinians stems from non-Palestinians don’t know the Palestinian nation and underestimate it…this is where their error lies and where they miscalculate.”

“All of the Muslim world is dutybound to support Palestine and will also support Hezbollah...this action is the work of the Palestinians themselves.”


President Ebrahim Raisi

RaisiIn a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Oct. 28, 2023:  “Zionist regime’s crimes have crossed the red lines, which may force everyone to take action. Washington asks us to not do anything, but they keep giving widespread support to Israel. The US sent messages to the Axis of Resistance but received a clear response on the battlefield.

In a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Oct. 16, 2023: “The grave catastrophe that is taking place in the region is the result of the policies of the US and other Western supporters of the Zionist regime, which are doomed to failure…Given the current developments happening in Gaza, there is a possibility of the expansion of the scope of war and conflict to other fronts. In such a case, it will be more difficult to control the situation.”

“The Palestinian resistance factions are free and independent in making any decision they need, and naturally we support all the measures the resistance takes to combat the Zionist aggression within the context of its legitimate defense.”

In a call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Oct. 15, 2023: “If the Zionist regime seeks to pay for its defeat through the continuation of these crimes (against Palestinians), the dimensions of the developments will expand.”

In a speech on Oct. 13, 2023: “After 75 years of witnessing repression and crimes, today the new generation of Palestinians are standing up against the Zionists, and this shows that neither crime and killing, nor deceitful deals have been able to discourage and dissuade the oppressed Palestinian people from pursuing their rights.”

“Countries that support the Zionist regime should know that they are accomplices in the regime's crimes.”

“The issue of Palestine will not end by destroying Gaza; the people of Palestine and the world will hold you accountable because we consider defending Palestine as our duty.”

In a call with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Oct. 12, 2023: “Iran and Saudi Arabia as two key players at the current critical juncture must support the oppressed Muslim nation of Palestine... Today we are witnessing the Resistance is dealing a heavy blow to the usurping Zionist regime. Islamic countries have a duty to cooperate and unite in order to stop the Zionists crimes against the Palestinians as soon as possible. Iran and Saudi Arabia can help ensure the legal rights of Palestinians and stop the aggression and crimes of the Zionist regime…the only principled solution to the Palestinian problem, as the main problem of the region, is to pay attention to the rights of the oppressed people of this land, based on and according to the proposal of the Republic Islamic Iran for all Palestinians to determine their fate in a democratic process and in a free and fair election. No doubt that the recent crimes of the Zionists are carried out with the green light of the supporters of this regime. However, these actions not only will not result in obtaining their goals by them (western countries and the Zionist regime) but will cause the expansion and escalation of insecurity in the region and the world.”

In a speech on Oct. 12, 2023: “This is not an effort to achieve victory. This is a defeat when one chooses to face off women and children. According to international laws and regulations, those who commit these crimes and support them must be held to account.”  

In a call with Syrian President Bashar al Assad on Oct. 12, 2023: “The Islamic Republic is trying to establish such coordination as soon as possible by contacting the heads of Islamic countries. Today, the Zionists, contrary to all international treaties, have completely besieged Gaza and cut off the supplies of water, electricity, medicine, and fuel to the oppressed people of this region, while the self-styled advocates of human rights are trying to change the place of the oppressor and the oppressed through their double standards, which makes the Zionist regime arrogant and leads to the continuation of the genocide of Palestinians. Today, those who openly aligned themselves with the Zionist regime under the pretext of defending the rights of Palestinians have been disgraced, and it has become evident to the world that the Zionist regime is in its weakest position and situation. In recent days, the extreme cabinet of this regime has broken all boundaries of audacity and shamelessness and committed great crimes. We must use all our efforts to speed up the creation of this consensus and a unified position in support of the oppressed people of Palestine because every hour of delay in this regard will cause the Zionist regime to commit more crimes against the oppressed people of Gaza and Palestinians.”

In a call with Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Political Bureau chief, on Oct. 8, 2023: “What happened with the victorious operation of the Palestinian warriors in the occupied territories was the fulfillment of the 70-year-old expectation of the Palestinian nation and the Islamic Ummah (nation), and God willing, we will soon pray together in al Aqsa Mosque.”

In a call with Ziad al Nakhalah, Secretary General of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, on Oct. 8, 2023: “What happened in the occupied territories and in the battle with the usurping Zionist regime was a huge, unique event in the past 70 years, and you really made the Islamic community happy with this innovative and victorious operation.”

“We consider the final victory of the Palestinian nation to be a divine promise and the Iranian nation always stands by the freedom-loving and independent nations and at the top of them is the Palestinian nation.”

In remarks on Oct. 8, 2023: “This victorious operation and the unity and cohesion observed among the resistance forces promises greater victories and proves that victory over the declining Zionist enemy is attainable.”


Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

In an interview with NPR that aired on Oct. 26-27, 2023: “We don't really want this conflict to spread out. Actually, we're advising everybody and encouraging them to move toward the stopping of war crimes as soon as possible. But you know, the situation remains complicated. It's difficult for our region to tolerate the fact that 7,000 civilians have been killed as the result of the bombardments of the Israeli regime. This is the image that we're now seeing in the region and because of the continuation of crimes of the Israeli regime, the whole region has been turned into a powder keg.”

“They [Iran's allies and proxies] decide for themselves. At any moment, anything can happen.”

“Two weeks ago I visited the region and I met with some leaders of the countries of my region and with the leaders of the resistance in Lebanon and also the Palestinian groups ... What I gathered from the plans that they have – they have their finger on the trigger... they have their own calculations for their own security, and as I've said they decide for themselves.

“We consider Hamas a Palestinian liberation movement... Iran has never approved the killing of civilians, but we do have our political support for the liberation movement so that the occupied territories will be freed. Therefore, our support is only political. Today they have enough missiles, rockets and drones and they can easily get them from anywhere ... Now, currently, they have whatever it takes to produce their own weapons and they have their own training and that is why they decided themselves to go ahead with this operation.”

“Some days ago, I had a meeting with [the head of the political wing of Hamas], Mr. Ismail Haniyeh in Doha, Qatar. He said that they stand ready to combat the army of Israel for a long period of time, militarily. He said that they can come to an agreement with Israel to keep the civilians away from conflict. It will be like this: We hit their military, they hit our military. It will be just between the military people, leave the civilians out of it and we've been ready to do it for a long time.”

Address to the U.N. General Assembly on Oct. 26, 2023: “Today in New York and from the headquarters of the United Nations I say frankly to the American statesmen and military forces who are now managing the genocide in Palestine, that we do not welcome the expansion and scope of the war in the region, but I warn if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire. It is our home and West Asia is our region. We do not compromise with any party and any side and have no reservations when it comes to our home’s security. The genocide in Gaza must stop immediately. The forced displacement of the people of Gaza must be stopped immediately.

“According to international law, the Palestinian liberation movement Hamas is fighting the occupation and has a legitimate right. According to our negotiations, Hamas is ready to release civilian prisoners. At the same time, the world should support the release of 6,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. ”

Remarks on state television on Oct. 16, 2023: “Leaders of the Resistance will not allow the Zionist regime to take any action in Gaza. ... All options are open and we cannot be indifferent to the war crimes committed against the people of Gaza.”

The resistance front is capable of waging a long-term war with the enemy (Israel)... in the coming hours, we can expect a preemptive action by the resistance front.”

AbdollahianTweet after discussion with the Turkish, Indonesian and Pakistani Foreign Ministers on Oct. 16, 2023: “Conferred with my counterparts from Turkey, Indonesia and Pakistan. Underlined the need to immediately stop Zionist crimes&murder in Gaza & to dispatch humanitarian aid. I stressed that time is running out for political solutions; probable spread of war in other fronts is approaching unavoidable stage.”

Remarks on Oct. 15, 2023: “If the measures aimed at immediately stopping the Israeli attacks that are killing children in the Gaza Strip end in a deadlock, it is highly probable that many other fronts will be opened. This option is not ruled out and this is becoming increasingly more probable. If the Zionist entity [Israel] decides to enter Gaza, the resistance leaders will turn it into a graveyard of the occupation soldiers.”

Meeting with Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh in Doha, Qatar on Oct. 14, 2023: “Supporting Palestine is a religious, humanitarian and moral duty, and today, all Muslims, the faithful and freedom-loving people should stand by Palestine and its oppressed people more than ever…The extent of Zionists’ war crimes against the people of Gaza is great because the blow they have received from the Palestinian nation has been unprecedented…During these days, in line with supporting the people of Gaza against Israeli war crimes, we proposed an extraordinary foreign ministerial meeting of Islamic countries be held, and will press ahead with our efforts and back any initiative by Muslim states aimed at supporting the Palestinian nation…The al Aqsa operation was the Palestinian nation’s natural reaction to the relentless crimes and provocative moves by the extremist government of Netanyahu, especially Zionists’ repeated acts of aggression against the al Aqsa Mosque. If the Israeli regime’s crimes in Gaza continue, any possibility in the region is likely, and the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its attempts to halt Israeli war crimes.”

Speech on Oct. 13, 2023: “With the continuation of aggression, war crimes and the siege of Gaza, the opening of other fronts is a real possibility. I will discuss the situation in Gaza with the Lebanese authorities. Iran strongly continues its political and media support for the Palestinian resistance. If the Americans want to prevent the war in the region from developing, they must control Israel.”

In a call with E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Oct. 10, 2023: “If Europe and the West had distanced themselves from double standards and had reined in Netanyahu’s crimes, perhaps Palestine would not witness this situation.”


Iranian Mission to the United Nations

Statement on Oct. 9, 2023

The ongoing situation in occupied Palestine is the result of the longstanding denial of the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to self-determination, the ongoing Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people and their land, the continued desecration of Muslim holy sites, including al-Aqsa Mosque, and the continued terrorism of the Israeli regime.

For 75 years, the Palestinian people have been victims of the Israeli regime's unrelenting aggression, violence, racial discrimination, and apartheid policies. The occupation of their land continues with blockading cities, the destruction and confiscation of property and farmlands, and the forced evacuation of people from their homes. Such ongoing atrocities represent a clear violation of international humanitarian law and established principles and norms of human rights.

Ambassador Iravani

The Israeli occupation and its brutal atrocities are the only reality that generations of Palestinians have grown up with. Israel's flagrant violations of peremptory norms of international law, including the unequivocal prohibition of acquiring territory through force, the inherent right to self-determination, and the prohibition on racial discrimination and apartheid, stand as blatant evidence of such occupation.

Regrettably, the international community has yet to respond adequately or hold those responsible for these grave and serious violations accountable. The absence of accountability and the unsettling silence of the UN bodies, in particular, the Security Council has allowed decades-old UN resolutions to remain mere words on paper. At the same time, we continue to bear witness the ever more horrifying atrocities perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the Israeli regime.

While recognizing the inherent right of self-defense for all Palestinians under international law, the Islamic Republic of Iran remains steadfast in its belief that the question of Palestine can only be resolved by ending the occupation, recognizing the inalienable rights of self-determination of the Palestinian people and through holding a national referendum with the participation of all Palestinian people, which requires the full restoration and protection of these rights, leading to the establishment of Palestinian sovereignty over entire Palestine.

The Islamic Republic of Iran stands firmly behind the aspirations of the Palestinian people and supports the efforts of resistance groups and oppressed Palestinians in their unwavering pursuit of their inherent and indisputable rights against occupation and aggression. This support is fully consistent with international law and the UN Charter, including the principle of the right to self-determination. This will be Iran’s principled position until the occupation ends.

The recent decisions and measures taken by Palestine's resistance are firmly rooted in the fundamental principle of self-determination, representing a completely legitimate response to seven decades of oppressive occupation and the numerous atrocities committed by the Israeli regime. Iran unwaveringly stands in solidarity with Palestine; however, it is important to note that Iran is not involved in Palestine's response, as these actions are solely determined by the Palestinians themselves. Palestinians have the freedom to make choices that they believe serve their best interests and to exercise their own judgment in determining their course of action.

The Israeli regime, on the other hand, is currently engaged in an indefinite and belligerent occupation, driven by annexationist intentions, which blatantly violates the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. This egregious violation of international law carries significant repercussions and necessitates that the international community and United Nations member states assume responsibility and act decisively to terminate this illegal occupation. Mere sympathy is no longer adequate.

Certain States must forsake their double standards. If these States genuinely wish to uphold their professed commitment to aiding victims in conflicts, then their assistance must unequivocally prioritize the actual victims rather than those perpetrating aggression, as is the case in other conflicts. Rather than extending assistance to the aggressor, support should be channeled towards the genuine victims in Palestine—a nation that has endured a staggering 75 years of invasion, occupation, and dispossession.

Statement on Oct. 9, 2023: “We are not involved in Palestine’s response, as it is taken solely by Palestine itself.”


IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami

Speech on Oct. 16, 2023: “Today, as acknowledged by everyone, the Zionist regime has not only suffered defeat but also been humiliated, and Hamas, single-handedly and without reliance on any other power, has inflicted a major defeat on them. No matter what the Zionists do in the future, the regime cannot recover from such humiliation.”

“Israel's delusion of grandeur collapsed with the operation by Hamas and its powerless reality was revealed to everyone. Today, the fake identity of the Zionist regime has fallen apart and nothing else is left of it but a hollow shell.”

Today, the US and its allies consider the Islamic Revolution as a phenomenon that the more they engage with it, the stronger it becomes, and this fact has faced the arrogant front with serious challenges.”

Speech on Oct. 13, 2023: “Congratulations to all the worshipers. believers of the great and revolutionary nation of Islamic Iran and the resistant and proud nation of Islam, especially the tireless and honorable fighters of Palestine, the recent amazing and divine victories of the proud fighters of Palestine over the usurping, fake, and criminal Zionist regime. The event that shocked the world is an unprecedented event beyond the imagination of all experts, thinkers, strategists, and politicians of the world. The biggest defeat in the history of the existence of the fake Zionist regime since 1948 for this regime and the biggest victory for the Palestinian movement happened in the Al-Aqsa Flood operation. From about a hundred years ago, when the United States and Britain plunged a poisonous dagger into the Islamic world's flank, until today, the most unprecedented crimes against the people of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt by the Zionist regime with the support of the United States, Britain and It has happened in some European countries. In the midst of these sad and horrible crimes, the Palestinians have preserved their identity and sense of resistance, and last week on the morning of Saturday, October 7th, you witnessed an exceptional glow on the earth, as if the soul-giving verses of the Quran were being interpreted on the earth for the Palestinians.”


IRGC Deputy Commander Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi

Remarks on Oct. 10, 2023: “After the operation, the illusion of the invincibility of the Zionist regime and its false power became evident to the whole world.”

“The military power and capabilities of this regime is only limited to the killing of innocent and defenseless people. Today, Israel's weakness and impotence in dealing with Palestinian fighters have become evident. It was revealed how dependent the regime is on the arrogant powers. In a matter of only a few hours the vulnerable nature of the regime was fully disclosed.” 

“Americans are lagging behind in global developments and they need to know that the world and the thoughts of the nations are changing. They need to understand today's world, update themselves, and be where they should be. If they continue to live in delusions of dominance and power, they will not reach anything and will continue to face more defeats and resolute responses. The people of the world have awakened and the Palestinian fighters have tasted the sweetness of victory. Therefore, the continuation of the massacre of innocent and defenseless nations will not yield any result or achievement for the world superpowers.”


IRGC Deputy Commander-in-Chief Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi

Remarks on Oct. 10, 2023: “The al Aqsa Storm Operation was a historic movement by Hamas and Islamic Jihad that shattered the Zionist regime's power in the region.”

“This is a blessing that has arisen from the pure blood of those who sacrificed their lives during the Iran-Iraq War and the Islamic Revolution.” 



Foreign Minister Spokesperson Nasser Kanani

Remarks on Oct. 16, 2023:

“Iran considers that the United States is already militarily involved in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.”

“The crimes of the Zionist regime are carried out with the support of the United States and Washington must be held accountable.”

Hamas officials “stated that they are ready to take necessary measures to release the citizens and civilians held by resistance groups, but their point was that such measures require preparations that are impossible under daily bombardment by the Zionists against various parts of Gaza.”


Remarks on Oct. 9, 2023:

“The accusations linked to an Iranian role… are based on political reasons,”

Iran does not intervene “in the decision-making of other countries, including Palestine.”


Advisor to the Supreme Leader and Expediency Council Member, Ali Shamkhani



Advisor to the Supreme Leader, Yahya Rahim Safavi

Remarks on on Oct. 7, 2023: “We congratulate the Palestinian fighters.”

“We will stand by the Palestinian fighters until the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem.”


Former Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

In remarks on Nov. 8, 2023 (translation via Clash Report): "Our people are tired of us being more Palestinian than the Palestinians."

"If we criticize a policy, our solution should not be to change the place of oppressor and oppressed."

"The solution, as our constitution says, is for Iran to defend the oppressed, but we are not supposed to fight for the oppressed."

"People should accept that we have to defend the right, but defending the right does not mean killing troops."

"Now, the best defense for the rights of the Palestinian people is not to let Israel succeed in introducing them as foreign servants or proxies of foreigners."



Photo Credit:;; Tehran Times (CC BY 4.0); Tasnim News Agency (CC BY 4.0)
Some of the information in this article was originally published on October 10, 2023.