“In contrast to the Lebanese arena, where Iran has tied itself to and used Hezbollah as its representative and proxy, in the Palestinian arena Tehran has based its strategy on two parallel axes. The first is fostering its relationship with Hamas and providing it with funds to build and establish the organization’s power base in Gaza. The second is strengthening its relationship with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and cultivating the group as a close and valued protege, even closer to Tehran’s heart than Hamas is.
The Iranians haven’t ignored Hamas’ strength over the years, and in recent months have also invested considerable effort to maintain ties with it, despite the cooling of the relationship between Hamas’ leadership and the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.
And yet, even during the peak of Iran’s relationship with Hamas, in the days after the organization took control over the Gaza Strip by force, Tehran couldn’t ignore the clear advantages which lay in developing closer ties with the Islamic Jihad.”