Friday, June 14, 2024

Iran Update, June 14, 2024

Kathryn Tyson, Kelly Campa, Alexandra Braverman, Johanna Moore, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick and Nicholas Carl

Information Cutoff: 2:00 pm ET

The Iran Update provides insights into Iranian and Iranian-sponsored activities abroad that undermine regional stability and threaten US forces and interests. It also covers events and trends that affect the stability and decision-making of the Iranian regime. The Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) provides these updates regularly based on regional events. Click here to see CTP and ISW’s interactive map of Israeli ground operations. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.

CTP-ISW defines the “Axis of Resistance” as the unconventional alliance that Iran has cultivated in the Middle East since the Islamic Republic came to power in 1979. This transnational coalition is comprised of state, semi-state, and non-state actors that cooperate to secure their collective interests. Tehran considers itself to be both part of the alliance and its leader. Iran furnishes these groups with varying levels of financial, military, and political support in exchange for some degree of influence or control over their actions. Some are traditional proxies that are highly responsive to Iranian direction, while others are partners over which Iran exerts more limited influence. Members of the Axis of Resistance are united by their grand strategic objectives, which include eroding and eventually expelling American influence from the Middle East, destroying the Israeli state, or both. Pursuing these objectives and supporting the Axis of Resistance to those ends have become cornerstones of Iranian regional strategy.

We do not report in detail on war crimes because these activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We utterly condemn violations of the laws of armed conflict and the Geneva Conventions and crimes against humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gaza Strip: The IDF 162nd Division continued to operate in Rafah on June 14.  The Nahal Brigade identified openings between buildings in Rafah that Hamas fighters use to traverse quickly through dense neighborhoods.
  • Southern Lebanon and Golan Heights: Israeli officials are continuing to discuss an offensive into Lebanon amid a heightened rate of Hezbollah attacks into northern Israel. Lebanese Hezbollah conducted at least 22 attacks into northern Israel.
  • Iran: Iranian hardline candidate Saeed Jalili launched his 2024 presidential campaign by defining his political platform as a continuation of former President Ebrahim Raisi’s policies.
  • Iran: Reformist presidential candidate Masoud Pezeshkian is adopting an increasingly reformist political agenda likely to bolster endorsements from high-profile reformist individuals.
  • Yemen: US CENTCOM destroyed several Houthi systems, including an air defense sensor, drone, and two patrol boats.

Gaza Strip

Axis of Resistance objectives:

  • Erode the will of the Israeli political establishment and public to sustain clearing operations in the Gaza Strip
  • Reestablish Hamas as the governing authority in the Gaza Strip

The IDF 99th Division continued to operate in the Netzarim corridor, south of Gaza City, on June 14.[1] Palestinian militias fired rockets and mortars at Israeli forces along the corridor.[2] The IDF 3rd Alexandroni Reserve Infantry Brigade directed an Israeli Air Force airstrike strike targeting Palestinian fighters operating in a building in Zaytoun.[3] The 8th Reserve Armored Brigade directed a separate strike targeting a cell of fighters near Zaytoun.[4] Hamas reported that its fighters detonated a building east of Zaytoun rigged to explode, killing an unknown number of IDF soldiers inside.[5] Hamas said that its fighters observed an IDF helicopter evacuating the Israeli forces from the area.  Hamas also stated that it detonated a rigged tunnel entrance east of Zaytoun, killing and wounding IDF soldiers.[6]

The IDF 162nd Division continued to operate in Rafah on June 14. The 162nd Division targeted and killed several Palestinian fighters, seized weapons, and identified several underground tunnel shafts in the Rafah area.[7] An IDF Maglan drone team conducted a strike killing a Palestinian fighter approaching Israeli forces.[8] The IDF Nahal Brigade killed armed fighters, located tunnel shafts, seized weapons, and destroyed several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Rafah.[9] The Nahal Brigade also directed an airstrike on a rigged building in Rafah.[10] The IDF reported that secondary explosions at the site indicated that large amounts of explosives were present.[11] Palestinian fighters engaged Israeli forces using rocket-propelled grenades, anti-personnel mines, and mortars in Rafah city.[12]

The IDF reported that the Nahal Brigade identified openings between buildings in Rafah that Hamas fighters use to traverse quickly through dense neighborhoods.[13] These inter-building passages enable Palestinian fighters to rapidly traverse from one “combat compound” to another without exposing themselves in the streets to Israeli forces according to the IDF. The IDF previously identified similar openings in between buildings in dense areas of Jabalia camp during clearing operations in May 2024.[14]

IDF Southern Command commander Major General Yaron Finkelman held a situational assessment of Rafah operations on June 12 with the 162nd Division commander Brigadier General Itzik Cohen and other unspecified IDF commanders.[15] Finkelman praised the IDF Givati Brigade, the 401st Armored Brigade, and the Commando Brigade‘s “effective and precise“ operations in Rafah.[16]  Finkelman stated that the IDF will “keep moving forward until we achieve our goals here.”[17]

Hamas political bureau member Osama Hamdan claimed on June 14 during an interview with CNN that "no one has [any] idea” how many Israeli hostages are currently alive in the Gaza Strip.[18] Israeli news claimed that Hamas has refused to provide a list of living hostages to Israel.[19] Hamas issued new demands on June 11 in response to the latest Israeli ceasefire proposal that stipulates Israel commit immediately to a permanent ceasefire, accelerating the timeline for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, and making greater concessions on the release of Palestinian prisoners.[20]

The IDF reported on June 14 that it detected several indirect fire attacks launched from the Gaza Strip targeting the surrounding area.[21] Israeli fighter jets intercepted “some” of the launched and the remaining munitions fell into open areas.

West Bank

Axis of Resistance objectives:

  • Establish the West Bank as a viable front against Israel

Israeli forces engaged Palestinian fighters in Jenin and Jenin refugee camp on June 14.[22] The al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades fired small arms and detonated IEDs targeting Israeli forces in Jenin and the Jenin refugee camp.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to release Palestinian tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to US and Israeli officials cited by Axios on June 13.[23] Israel froze tax revenue transfers to the PA following Hamas’ attack on Israel in October 2023. Norway agreed to act as an intermediary in February 2024 to transfer funds between Israel and the PA, however Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich re-froze the funds in May 2024.[24] [25] Unspecified US officials said that the Biden administration is concerned that the PA could collapse if the tax revenues are not transferred soon.[26] The tax revenues are a large source of income for the PA, which is currently in a financial crisis.[27]

The US State Department sanctioned the Israeli Tzav 9 group on June 14 for blocking humanitarian aid convoys attempting to enter the Gaza Strip.[28] Tsav 9 is comprised of demobilized Israeli reservists as well as families of Israeli hostages and settlers.[29] The State Department reported that Tzav 9 has blocked roads and sometimes violently attacked aid trucks by destroying, looting, and/or setting fire to aid being transported to the Gaza Strip. The Washington Post reported that members of Tzav 9 use WhatsApp to track and coordinate attacks on aid shipments.[30] US officials said that individual members of Tzav 9 are not sanctioned under the June 14 announcement but could be sanctioned in the future according to the Washington Post.[31]

This map is not an exhaustive depiction of clashes and demonstrations in the West Bank.

Southern Lebanon and Golan Heights

Axis of Resistance objectives:

  • Deter Israel from conducting a ground operation into Lebanon
  • Prepare for an expanded and protracted conflict with Israel in the near term
  • Expel the United States from Syria

Lebanese Hezbollah has conducted at least 22 attacks into northern Israel since CTP-ISW's last data cutoff on June 13.[32] Hezbollah launched approximately 35 rockets targeting Kiryat Shmona and the surrounding area.[33] The IDF said that it has intercepted approximately 69 percent of Hezbollah drones into northern Israel since June 11.[34]

The IDF conducted several airstrikes targeting Hezbollah military infrastructure and launch sites in al Adisa and Kafr Killa, southern Lebanon on June 13 and 14.[35] Lebanese state media reported on June 13 that an IDF airstrike killed at least one civilian and injured 14 others near Tyre.[36]

Israeli officials are continuing to discuss an offensive into Lebanon amid a heightened rate of Hezbollah attacks into northern Israel. Head of the Golan Regional Council and Deputy Commander of the 55th Reserve Brigade Lt. Col Uri Kellner said on June 14 that Israel that Israel “must transfer the fighting to Lebanese territory to prevent the Golan from becoming a combat zone."[37]   A Hezbollah official said on June 12 that Hezbollah would increase the rate and scale of attacks against Israel in response to targeted strikes on Hezbollah leaders.[38] Hezbollah launched over 200 mortars and rockets into northern Israel on June 12 in response to an IDF airstrike that killed a senior Hezbollah commander on June 11.[39]

Several senior Israeli officials have indicated that Israel may respond to Hezbollah through diplomatic engagement or military force.[40] Defense Minister Yoav Gallant of Israel rejected a French proposal on June 14 that would have attempted to develop a diplomatic framework to ease tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, however.[41]

Recorded reports of attacks; CTP-ISW cannot independently verify impact.

Iran and Axis of Resistance

Iranian hardline candidate Saeed Jalili launched his 2024 presidential campaign by defining his political platform as a continuation of former President Ebrahim Raisi’s policies. Jalili stated he will continue Raisi’s “neighborhood” foreign policy strategy which focuses on maintaining strong relations with other countries in the region.[42] Jalili previously emphasized that the next government should implement the seventh five-year development plan, which is a Raisi-era document focused partly on curbing inflation, optimizing the state budget, and resolving government debts.[43] Some hardliners urged that Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf or Saeed Jalili should withdraw from the race to prevent the hardline camp from splitting the voter base amongst five candidates.[44] Jalili emphasized in a public speech on June 13 that he will remain in the presidential race.[45]

Reformist presidential candidate Masoud Pezeshkian is adopting an increasingly reformist political agenda likely to bolster endorsements from high-profile reformist individuals. Pezeshkian hosted a conference for his female supporters on June 14 wherein he criticized the regime‘s mandatory veiling policy, stating: “We have been trying to fix the hijab (issue) for 40 years, but we made the situation worse.”[46] Pezeshkian separately advocated for economic reform, particularly to curb inflation, in a televised speech on June 13.[47] Pezeshkian criticized the current economic situation in Iran. Former Iranian reformist president Mohammad Khatami endorsed Pezeshkian on June 13 for the 2024 presidential election.[48] Khatami served as president of Iran from 1997 – 2005.[49] Khatami’s endorsement is not entirely surprising as Pezeshkian served as health minister under the Khatami administration from 2001 – 2005.[50]

US CENTCOM destroyed one Houthi air defense sensor in a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen on June 13.[51] CENTCOM also destroyed one Houthi uncrewed service vessel and two Houthi patrol boats in the Red Sea. CENTCOM additionally intercepted one Houthi drone over the Red Sea.

The Houthis claimed to attack three vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden on June 13.[52] The Houthis struck the Palauan-flagged, Ukranian-owned, Polish-operator M/V Verbena in the Gulf of Aden with two anti-ship cruise missiles.[53] The Verbena reported damage and subsequent fires on board. The attack ”severely injured” one civilian mariner. An aircraft from the USS Philippine Sea medically evacuated the injured mariner to a US partner force ship nearby[54] CENTCOM reported the Verbena was en route to Italy when the Houthis attacked.[55] CENTCOM noted that the Houthis targeted vessels and individuals that are unrelated to the Israel-Hamas war.[56] The Houthis also claimed separate attacks on the Seaguardian and the Athina in the Red Sea.[57] CTP-ISW reported that the Houthis were likely responsible for an attack targeting a merchant ship 82 nautical miles northwest of Hudaydah, Yemen on June 13.[58] This merchant ship was likely the Seaguardian.[59]

The crew from an unspecified commercial vessel that was struck by the Houthis evacuated and abandoned the vessel on June 14.[60] The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported on June 14 that military authorities evacuated the crew of the vessel. The Houthis struck the vessel 66 nautical miles southwest of Hudaydah on June 12 with an unmanned surface vehicle and a second time with an “unknown airborne projectile.”[61] The vessel is drifting in the vicinity of where the Houthi attack occurred.

The Houthis launched one drone from Houthi-controlled Yemen into the Red Sea on May 31.[62] CENTCOM reported that the drone crashed in the Red Sea without causing damage to any nearby vessels. The Houthis also launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles into the Gulf of Aden from Houthi-controlled Yemen on May 31. CENTCOM reported that the missiles did not cause any injuries or damage to vessels in the area.



[2]; ;







[9]; https://www.idf dot il/208660;

[10]; https://www.idf dot il/208660

[11] https://www.idf dot il/208660


[13] https://www.idf dot il/208660;






[19] https://www.timesofisrael dot com/no-one-has-any-idea-how-many-hostages-are-still-alive-hamas-official-says/

[20] https://www dot ; dot il/item/news/politics/state-policy/mpox8-904099140/?pid=525 ;







[27] https://www.jpost dot com/middle-east/article-805202;









[36];; https://www.timesofisrael dot com/liveblog_entry/woman-reported-killed-in-fiery-south-lebanon-strike/



[39] https://www.timesofisrael dot com/170-rockets-fired-at-north-after-most-senior-hezbollah-officer-killed-in-idf-strike/



[42] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1403/03/25/3104063/ ; https://kayhan dot ir/en/news/127691/iran-president-raisi%E2%80%99s-neighborhood-policy-to-continue

[43] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1403/03/23/3103273

[44] https://www.etemadonline dot com/%D8%A8%D8%AE%D8%B4-%D8%B3%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B3%DB%8C-9/663370-%D9%81%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%81-%D8%AC%D9%84%DB%8C%D9%84%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AA ; https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1403/03/24/3103647

[45] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1403/03/24/3103838/

[46]; ;

[47] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1403/03/24/3103836/

[48] https://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1403/03/24/3103824/





[53] ;








[61] ;