Although Tehran is still isolated from the West due to sanctions over it dubious nuclear aspirations, its regional sphere of control is growing in leaps and bounds.
At its epicenter is a crescent of military and political control that ranges from Gaza to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and now Yemen.
Relations with Iran took off when the PLO supported the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran but received a boost during the second Intifada in 2000 when Arafat released Hamas and Islamic Jihadist prisoners who identified with Iran. Despite calls from PLO/Fatah leaders to Tehran to stop meddling in internal Palestinian politics, Iran’s influence grew stronger as Hamas’s power grew within Palestinian politics and once Hamas won the elections in 2006, Tehran became Palestine’s main sponsor. That sponsorship isn’t only financial since Tehran supplies Hamas with military support and knowledge.