The Oct. 7 massacre in southwestern Israel was a response to the 2020 killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani by the United States, Tehran claimed on Wednesday.
“The Al-Aqsa Flood was one of the acts of revenge for the assassination of General Soleimani by the U.S. and the Zionists,” IRGC spokesman Brig. Gen. Ramezan Sharif told Iran’s state-run ISNA news agency, using Hamas’s name for the Oct. 7 cross-border attacks.
“Certainly, these acts of revenge will continue in different times and places,” stated Sharif, vowing to also avenge Razi Mousavi, the Iranian major general killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria earlier this week.
The IRGC spokesman alleged that Israel took out Mousavi due to the “irreparable defeats” it suffered over the past weeks and “to get rid of the pressure of the relentless attacks of the resistance front in Gaza.”
In a statement responding to Sharif’s remarks, Hamas denied the IRGC’s claim, insisting that the Oct. 7 massacre was a response to alleged Israeli “crimes” at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
“We have repeatedly confirmed the motives and reasons for Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, and foremost are the dangers that threaten Al-Aqsa mosque,” stated the Iranian-backed terror group. “We also confirm that all acts of Palestinian resistance come in response to the Zionist occupation and its ongoing aggression against our people and our holy sites.”
Iran supports Hamas by supplying it with funding, intelligence, weapons and technological knowledge, and the Biden administration has described the Islamic Republic as being “complicit” in the Oct. 7 attacks.
As many as 500 men affiliated with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad trained in the Islamic Republic leading up to Oct. 7, The Wall Street Journal reported in late October. The exercises reportedly took place in September, at which time terrorists received specialized combat training.
On Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had tripled its enrichment of uranium to 60%. Tehran has “increased its production of highly enriched uranium, reversing a previous output reduction from mid-2023,” said the IAEA.
Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi warned in September that Jerusalem will have no choice but to act if Iran enriches uranium above 60%.
Also on Tuesday, IRGC-affiliated media outlets published a video animation depicting the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the London-based Iran International reported. The video ended with the text, “Brought to you by the friends of Haman,” in an apparent reference to the genocidal Jew-hating villain from the biblical book of Esther.