Iran-backed groups hold rare meeting with IRGC chiefs in Tehran amid Raisi mourning

Iran-backed groups hold rare meeting with IRGC chiefs in Tehran amid Raisi mourning

Senior commanders and representatives of Iran-backed militant groups met in Tehran as funeral ceremonies were held for president Ebrahim Raisi, foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and other officials killed in Sunday’s helicopter crash.

Hossein Salami, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – the dominant branch of the Iranian armed forces – led the meeting, with Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh and Naim Qassem, a cleric who acts as second in command of Lebanese group Hezbollah, also in attendance, an image published by the state-owned Al Alam channel showed.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels was represented by spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam.

While commanders from Iran-backed proxy forces often meet in Tehran – particularly since the Gaza war began on October 7 – it is rare for so many of Iran’s closest allies to be pictured together.

In February, Mr Amirabdollahian held a meeting in Damascus, with several Palestinian factions as part of efforts to co-ordinate their war effort against Israel.

The photo was published by Al Alam on Thursday, but there was no confirmation of when they met.

The commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, Brig Gen Ismail Qaani, was also present. The Quds Force handles overseas training of militia groups backed by Iran, including the Houthis, Hezbolla and a network of militias across Iraq and Syria.

Its previous commander, Qassem Suleimani, was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January 2020, alongside Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, also known as Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi, who commanded Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq.

The meeting discussed “the political, social and military conditions in Gaza, the Al Aqsa Flood operations and the role of the Axis of Resistance”, referring to Hamas’s operations in Gaza and allied groups in the region, Al Alam reported.

“The meeting emphasised the continuation of jihad and struggle until complete victory for the Palestinian resistance in Gaza is achieved, with the participation of all resistance factions in the region and its axis,” it said.

Source » msn