By: Staff Writer Danielle Adler
The Islamic Republic of Iran is frequently cited as the world’s number one supporter of state-sponsored terror. Rouhani’s government supports the terrorist activities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as well as Middle Eastern proxy groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and groups allied with Assad. So what does the recent nuclear deal, which is focused on the Iranian nuclear program, have to do with terrorist organizations situated outside of Iran? Well, it has just about everything to do with them.
A key component of the deal is the unfreezing of Iran’s assets in international banks. The rate at which these funds will be released is still being discussed, but at the end of the day, Iran will become $150 billion richer. And it isn’t like this money is owned by another foreign government—it’s Iranian money that has been frozen by the United States and other key international players. Iran has a track record of funding terrorist activity and was able to do so under crippling sanctions. Now imagine the weight an extra $150 billion can do, even if a slim fraction goes to terrorist funding.
Hamas and Hezbollah are two of the strongest groups supported by Iran beyond its borders. These groups’ geographic positioning is pivotal in Iran’s anti-Israel quest: Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Appearing as a beacon of hope, Hamas rose to power in disheveled Gaza through fearful and oppressive tactics on Palestinians in order to legitimize their rankings. While Hezbollah’s ranking in Lebanese society is not as intermixed, both organizations have remarkably powerful positions in society.
So what does this mean for Israel? Well unfortunately, the presence of terrorism and antagonistic neighbors has been a reality for Israel since its birth in 1948. It’s a way of life with which most Israelis have come to terms. But never before has the State of Israel faced such a radicalized Iranian regime, which holds greater potential for nuclear activity and permissible funding from the international community.
Israel has had its fair share of acts of terror by Hamas, Hezbollah, and others in its past, but this was before Iran had a surplus of $150 billion. Regardless of the rate at which Iran decides to allocate more funds to its international terror network, they will make it their goal to increase terrorist activity. Even publically, Rouhani and his supporters have rallied calling for the destruction of Israel and the United States. To reiterate, expanding its terror proxies throughout the Middle East is at the top of this regime’s to-do list. This unfreezing of assets guaranteed in the Iran nuclear agreement does just that.
This possibility of amplified warfare should not only frighten Israelis but also Palestinians. While the relationship of Palestinians with the State of Israel is a different conversation, the Palestinians should be fearful of this growth of Iranian power. Hamas’ long-ago promises of prosperity and growth for the Palestinians in Gaza are nothing more than a figment of the imagination. Their glory is now counted in the mounting death count. Increased funds to Hamas, as well as other similar terrorist organizations, from Iran will increase terrorist capabilities and rock the Middle East into a further state of political and social toxicity.