A hardline Iranian group is actively recruiting potential suicide bombers for operations in Israel, footage seen by MailOnline shows.
The group responsible for this recruitment drive, Hezbollah, unlike the Lebanese militant group of the same name, has launched a campaign in the southeastern Iranian city of Mashhad, an important place in Shia Islam.
Posters calling for “martyrdom” have appeared on the streets of Mashhad, asking residents to submit their personal details for consideration.
These posters declare, “It is time for Jihad” and call on individuals to join a “special battalion of martyr seekers for Palestine.”
One poster, shared by a Telegram channel close to the group, shows triumphant jihadists arriving at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites after Israel’s defeat, waving the Iranian flag .
The “liberation” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been one of the fundamental slogans of the officials of the Islamic Republic for the past forty years.
The posters called on Iranian citizens to accept ‘martyrdom’
The group, which had no ties to the Lebanese group of the same name, was looking for individuals to join a “special battalion of martyr seekers for Palestine.”
One poster, shared by a Telegram channel close to the group, shows triumphant jihadists arriving at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem
The group has gone so far as to give potential recruits the option of choosing between using motorcycles or cars for their deployments to Israel.
Tawab, a resident of Mashhad, expressed concern about the situation.
In a telephone interview with MailOnline, he said: ‘I have seen these posters in various places around the city but no one seems willing to take such a dangerous path. It makes the face of the city scary.”
While openly admitting their support for Hamas, Iran’s spiritual leaders insist the Islamic Republic was not involved in the group’s attack on Israel on October 7.
In a move that reflects growing internal dissent, dozens of Iranian political and civil activists have voiced their concerns and opposition to these actions.
On Thursday they openly warned Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei not to drag Iran into the abyss of war.
The activists stressed: “They (Khamenei) must recognize that they lack the authority to lead our nation into war with their reckless, unwise and unpatriotic policies, potentially turning the peaceful people of Iran into war-weary victims.”
The statement further criticized the Supreme Leader’s position, saying: “By directly involving our nation in these conflicts, he is not only endangering the security and prosperity of the Iranian people, but also threatening to bring the scourge of war upon our country to impose.’
The Islamic Republic has historically supported various organizations in the Middle East, such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, engaged in activities related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This support includes the provision of weapons and other forms of assistance.
Although some countries, such as Qatar and Turkey, have provided financial assistance to these groups, they generally do not supply them with weapons or endorse their activities.
Tehran is the main backer of both Hamas and Hezbollah – but these are just some of the powerful militias that have been supported by Iranian money, weapons and military training in recent decades
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both Sunni groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, receive support from Iran because of their shared anti-Israel sentiments despite their sectarian differences.
The relationship between Shia and Sunni Islamist groups has been marked by periods of cooperation and occasional conflict, especially in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq War and the 2011 unrest in several Arab countries.
The Lebanese Hezbollah has significantly more powerful military capabilities compared to Hamas.
Their arsenal includes an estimated 130,000 missiles and rockets, including several types that can reach Tel Aviv.
In addition, they have thousands of highly experienced fighters with more than a decade of battlefield experience, largely gained through their involvement in the conflict in Syria.
Israeli security leaders have consistently viewed Shiite Hezbollah as their most formidable opponent after Iran in the region.
The prospect of all-out war between Hezbollah and Israel, last seen in 2006, carries potentially serious damage on both sides.
Moreover, such a conflict could escalate and involve major international powers, including the United States and Iran.
It would also serve as a major test of Israel’s ability to wage a multi-front war, a challenge not faced in more than half a century since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.