In the latest in the ever increasing ups and downs in the relationship between Iran and Hamas, Israeli media is reporting that a senior Hamas official has said that Iran is lying about its funding of the organization. According to a Jerusalem Post report:
January 31, 2016 Deputy Chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, Musa Abu Marzouk, blamed Iran for lying about financial aid to Hamas, claiming that the Palestinian Islamist movement has not received any Iranian funding since 2009, Asharq al-Awsat reported on Sunday.
In a recording of a private conversation with an unidentified person leaked to the London-based newspaper, Abu Marzouk is heard saying that ‘the story is not like Iran presents it… The Iranians are masters of diplomatic wordplay. Since 2009, we have not received anything from them and everything they say is a lie, they didn’t contribute anything to us.’
Abu Marzouk added that ‘whenever the idea of Iranian financial aid to Hamas rose, Iran conditioned it on Hamas working for the improvement of Iran’s relations with Sudan.’
It is not only the lack of financial aid that Abu Marzouk blames Iran for in the recording, but also the lack of military aid. The senior Hamas leader rejected Iranian claims that a number of ships carrying weapons that were intercepted by Israel in recent years were meant for Hamas. ‘Every ship caught carrying ammunition since 2011 has been, according to the Iranians, directed at us, in Gaza,’ he said sarcastically.
While recent reports have revealed a new Hezbollah initiative to mediate between Iran and Hamas, conditioning Iranian aid to Hamas on the group’s support for Iran’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war, Abu Marzouk vehemently attacked Iran on its intervention in the Gulf state.
The senior Hamas leader voiced strong opposition to Iran’s involvement in Yemen, arguing that ‘the Iranians have ruined the country due to their cunning policy there and the way they treated the people.’
Since Abu Marzouk is expected to soon lead Hamas’ delegation to Lebanon to meet Iranian senior officials, his remarks against Iran may reflect an attempt by Hamas to squeeze Iran and force it to give the group more financial aid.
Mousa Abu Marzook is a former leader in the US Muslim Brotherhood.
The GMBDW reported in August 2015 that according to unidentified sources, Iran was deeply angered at a visit by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s to Saudi Arabia. We reported earlier that month month that according to a Hamas official, Iranian aid to Hamas has “drastically decreased.” As we noted at that time given the long history of ups and downs in the Iranian/Hamas relationships we continue to monitor the relevant developments between Hamas and Iran, notably the sponsor of Hezbollah.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Following a period of seeming ascension related to the period of Egyptian rule by the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization was forced to scramble to try and find other state sponsors after Mohamed Morsi was deposed as President. In September 2013, it appeared that Hamas had succeeded in re-establishing close ties with Iran. In January 2013, Israeli intelligence sources claimed that Turkey has replaced Iran as the chief source of Hamas financing.