Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler Senior Fellow and director of the Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute.
Articles & Testimony
As details emerge of potential direct links to the attack on Israel, one thing is clear: Hamas would not have been able to plan and conduct such an operation without years of Iranian training, Iranian weapons, and hundreds of millions of dollars in Iranian funding.
In the weeks since the Hamas massacre on October 7, pundits have debated whether or not Iran helped Hamas develop the plan for the terrorist assault and if Iran had foreknowledge of the attack. Citing a Hamas source, the Wall Street Journalreported that Iran helped plot the attack and that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp gave it the go-ahead at a meeting in Beirut. Another Journal report claims that in the weeks leading up to the assault, hundreds of Hamas and other Islamist militants received specialized training in Iran. Iran, for its part, denied playing any role in the attack, and US intelligence suggests that the Hamas attack surprised Iran, undermining the theory it played a direct role in planning or training operatives for the plot. Ultimately, the details of Iran’s role in the plot itself will emerge. But this much is already clear: Iran has funded, armed, trained, and provided intelligence to Hamas for decades. Though Hamas has multiple income streams, funding from Iran has been especially important for the group’s military and terrorist structures...