Power Line notes the report by senior Fatah sources in Gaza that its National Security Force (yes, I know it's hard to keep track of all of the Fatah militias) has arrested seven Iranian weapons experts working in the service of Hamas in Gaza. Of course, in recent weeks U.S. troops in Iraq caused a diplomatic furor and irritated the Iraqi government when they entered an "Iranian consular building" and captured several Iranian "diplomats" who were providing weapons and training to various insurgent groups. In addition, Iran provides funds and weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, which currently is busy trying to overthrow the Lebanese government.
All of this activity serves the primary Iranian objective, of creating a solid band of anti-American confrontation states, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. The Hedgehog Blog identified the Iranian strategic objective in this November 21, 2006 post. Apparently former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (who is hoping for a political comeback) agrees; he recently told Los Angeles Jewish Journal editor Robert Eshman that "Israel faces a Middle East in which radical Shiite power could extend from Teheran to Baghdad to Damascus to Beirut -- 'the Shiite banana,' he called it. And make no mistake, the virulently anti-Israel rantings of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are but the vocalization of beliefs that even more 'moderate' Iranian leaders hold. "
Barak, not unnaturally, focused his remarks on the Iranian threat to Israel. But one must never lose sight of the fact that while the Iranian Islamist regime calls Israel "the Little Satan," its ultimate target is "the Great Satan," the United States of America.
Update Feb. 4, 2007: Both Fatah and Hamas are denying the accuracy of the report that Fatah had captured Iranian agents in Gaza, according to the Jerusalem Post.