The New York Times reported on Wednesday that US intelligence shows Iranian leaders were surprised by the Hamas attack on southern Israel and that no evidence has been found indicating Iran helped plan the operation.
The report reads: “These key Iranian officials did not know the attack was coming, according to the intelligence. The United States, Israel and key regional allies have not found evidence that Iran directly helped plan the attack, according to the US officials and another official in the Middle East.”
The officials who spoke with the Times would not name which Iranian leaders they were talking about but said they are people who would typically be aware of operations involving Iran’s Quds Force, a branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that specializes in unconventional warfare, which includes working with foreign forces.
The report said that Morgan Muir, a deputy Director of National Intelligence, told Congress in a briefing on Tuesday that there was no direct link between Iran and the Hamas attack. He also said US intelligence agencies had evidence contradicting assertions that Iran had helped plan the attack.
On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal published a report claiming that Iran helped plan the operation and gave Hamas the green light for the attack during a meeting in Beirut last week. But the Times report said that the US and its allies “track and monitor meetings between Quds Force leaders and their proxies and allies, including Hamas” and that “officials say there is no evidence that those meetings were used to plan the attack in Israel.”
After The Wall Street Journal report was published, the Israeli military said it had “no evidence or proof” of Iranian involvement in the Hamas attack. Both US and Israeli officials have left open the possibility that Iran was linked to the operation and that they have discovered the evidence yet. The fact that they’re not blaming the attack on Iran signals the US and Israel don’t want to escalate the situation into a wider war, at least while they’re focusing on destroying Gaza.