Academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert knew “straight away” Iran was involved when news broke of Hamas’s horrific terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, and she suspects her captors – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – were celebrating the atrocities.
Speaking to The AJN, Moore-Gilbert said the attacks reminded her of conversations she’d had about Israel with the IRGC while she was wrongfully incarcerated in Iranian prisons for over two years.
“I don’t think I’ve been this upset since I came back from Iran,” Moore-Gilbert said.
“Things that were really revealing to me about their world view and their views on Israel and, in retrospect, their murderous intentions. I have no doubt that my captors were celebrating this attack and that their organisation, the IRGC, were involved in planning it.
“Hamas is not a particularly smart or savvy actor. They’re brutal, they’re violent, they’re Islamist terrorists, but I don’t think they’re particularly sophisticated and the nature of this attack has the hallmarks of groups like the IRGC and the Iranians, who tend to operate at a much more sophisticated level in terms of planning and execution. Straight away I thought they were involved.”
The attacks have prompted the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) to reiterate its call for the listing of the IRGC as a terrorist organisation under Australia’s Criminal Code.
“This would bring Australia more in line with our major ally – the US – as well as with our own values and national security interests on Iran,” said AIJAC executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein.
The Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee recommended Australia list the IRGC as a terrorist organisation earlier this year.
Moore-Gilbert said even prior to these attacks there was enough evidence of the IRGC’s involvement in terror.
“You do not need the defenceless slaughter of more than 1000 innocent people to demonstrate that they need to be listed as a terror organisation,” she said.
“But they haven’t been listed thus far and I hope the government will reconsider.”
Moore-Gilbert has suffered personally from the attacks on Israel. One of her closest friends, Alexei, an IDF soldier who was stationed on the Gazan border, was murdered on October 7.
“I still can’t process that he’s gone,” she said.
Her heart also goes out to the hostages and she believes the most effective way for Israel to get them released is to continue using their international partners, especially the US and its partnership with Qatar, and their contacts with other Arab countries, “who might have some leverage over Hamas”.
“The conditions and what these hostages have been subjected to, what they’ve seen prior to being taken hostage and then the conditions in which they’re being held in Gaza, must be a million times worse than anything that happened to me.
“I really hope the Israeli government will prioritise bringing them home because every life they can save is a victory. They have to apply as much pressure as they can to counter whatever Iran is doing behind the scenes.”