February 1997
Information Division, Israel Foreign Ministry 

                            IRAN AND HIZBULLAH

Since Khomeini's rise to power in 1979, Iran has maintained aspirations to
lead the radical Islamic camp and continues to deepen its ties to
extremist states and terrorist groups throughout the Middle East
(Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank and
Gaza). At the same time Iran has engaged in a public relations campaign
aimed at convincing the West, as well as its neighboring Gulf States of
its benign intentions and fitness to be fully integrated into the
community of nations.

The one realm where Iran has made no attempt to disguise its ideological
fervor is with regard to its implacable hatred of Israel. Iran remains
committed to the proposition that Israel has no right to exist and that
its destruction is a desideratum.

The following statements, coming from the highest levels of authority in
Teheran, give evidence of the ideological obsession which Iran has with
Israel's very existence:

1. "The government and people of Iran are of the opinion that the Israeli
entity is false and artificial. In fact there is no nation named
'Israel'.....The Zionists scraped together some people from all over the
world and, based only on racism, brought about the Zionist regime by
virtue of the conquest of Palestine."
(Pres. Ali Khameini addressing senior officers of the Iranian Air Force,
Feb. 8, 1996 - Radio Teheran.)

2. "The power of Islam will ultimately bring about the end of the
usurpatory and rootless Zionist regime, which has forced its presence upon
Palestinian land and which must be destroyed."
(Friday sermon delivered by Pres. Ali Khameini on Feb. 20, 1996 - Iranian
News Agency - IRANA.)

3. "When others talk about liberating Palestine they mean the 'annexed'
territories of 1967, we mean all Palestinian Land.......Iran is the only
country which is opposed to the basic existence of Israel"
(Foreign Minister Velliati, Feb. 6, 1996 - interview in "Salaam".)

It comes as no surprise, then, that one of Iran's major policy goals is
the wrecking of the Middle East peace process. An Arab World, which is
overwhelmingly Moslem, at peace with Israel contradicts an essential
pillar of Iranian ideology. To this end Iran has fomented terrorism,
either in the West Bank and Gaza or on Israel's northern border, in an
attempt to bring about the collapse of the peace process.

Putting its creed into deed, Iran has been implicated in terror attacks
against Israeli and Jewish targets throughout the world (i.e. the bombing
of the Israel Embassy in Buenos Aires in March 1992, the attempt on the
life of Jewish communal leader Jaques Kimche in Istanbul in June 1993, and
the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in July 1994).

Iranian Embassies and Consulates are forward outposts for terrorist
operations with numerous "attaches" coming and going in the weeks prior to
and following bombings and assassinations. The Iranian diplomatic mail
service, which is inviolable to search and seizure, is constantly used to
ferry arms and explosives to operatives around the world. Recognition of
official Iranian direction of terrorist activities was evidenced by the
warrant for the arrest of Security Minister Falahian issued by German
authorities. Falahian is suspected of having engineered the assassination
of Iranian dissidents living in Germany in the early 1990's.

In March 1996 a major shipment of arms and explosives destined for Iranian
terrorists based in Germany was discovered at the Belgian port of Antwerp.
Security sources indicate that the shipment was to be used in terrorist
attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in Europe.

Iran views Hizbullah as its spearhead in the battle against Israel.
Hizbullah terrorists are almost in constant combat against IDF troops. The
geographic location of Lebanon coupled with its political situation easily
enables Iran to ship weaponry, with Syrian acquiescence, to Hizbullah
units operating on Israel's border. In January 1996 three Iranian trucks
loaded with arms were intercepted by Turkish authorities on their way to
Lebanon via Turkey and Syria.

Reliable reports indicate that since April 1996 thirty (30) Iranian planes
loaded with ammunition and weapons have landed at Damascus airport. Their
cargo, which included Sagger anti-tank missiles, long range Katyusha
rockets and high explosive anti-tank mines, was subsequently transferred
to Hizbullah forces in south Lebanon. Moreover, according to reports in
El-Hiyatt (January 21, 1997) Syria and Iran continue to jointly coordinate
Hizbullah's current role and political future.

Iran was instrumental in the founding of Hizbullah and continues to fund
its operations at a level of approximately 80 million dollars per year,
which is to be increased in 1997 to 100 million dollars. Hizbullah
terrorists are trained at Iranian military installations and close contact
with the Hizbullah hierarchy is maintained by Teheran through its embassy
in Beirut.

Iranian arms and money have not only bolstered Hizbullah's combat
readiness but have also left their imprint from an ideological point of
view. Contrary to public statements made for the Western media, Hizbullah
does not view its role as merely fighting Israeli forces in the Security
Zone, rather Hizbullah is now committed to an unrelenting struggle against
Israel. At a rally held on the last Friday of Ramadan Hizbullah Secretary
General Hassan Nassrallah called upon the Palestinians to rekindle the
Jihad against Israel, resume the suicide bombings and the Intifadah.
Claiming that the current Palestinian leadership had "betrayed Palestine
and Jerusalem" he stated that it is necessary now for a Palestinian
"Islamabouli" (Anwar Sadat's assassin) to step forward and for the
Palestinians to "execute" their leaders.