Senior members of the Hamas terror group met on Monday in Iran with representatives of the powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guard, according to Arabic media reports.A high-level Hamas delegation arrived in Tehran on Friday in order to attend the inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and to “turn a new page in bilateral relations” between the two sides, according to a statement by Hamas.
This is the first Hamas visit to Iran since the group elected new leadership earlier in 2017. The rapprochement between Hamas and Iran is reportedly being facilitated by the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, which is supported by Tehran.
The delegation consisted of Hamas political bureau members Ezzat al-Resheq, Saleh Arouri, Zaher Jabarin, and Osama Hamdan.
During its stay in Iran, the group met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday, as well as a number of other senior Iranian officials.
The Pan-Arab daily As-Sharq al-Awsat, which is Saudi-influenced, reported that members of the Hamas delegation representing the terror group’s military wing also met with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard – (IRGC) — a paramilitary force that answers directly to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — and discussed “common issues.”
Relations between Hamas and Iran soured after the Sunni Palestinian group, whose ex-leader Khaled Mashaal was once based in Damascus, refused to back the non-Sunni axis led by Syrian president Bashar Assad in the ongoing civil war, which started in 2011. Iran is backing Assad in the war.
Read the rest here.
The GMBDW reported in June that a Hamas delegation would soon travel to Tehran in what appeared to be the latest development in the Gulf nation boycott of Qatar.
Hamas and Iran have a long and tumultuous history. In October 2016, the GMBDW was reporting that Iran was once again “courting” Hamas in an attempt to improve its relationship with the Global Muslim Brotherhood among other things. Other relevant reporting has included:
- In January 2017, we reported on a new Forbes survey that listed Hamas as the second richest terror group in the world with finances of around $1 billion.
- In February 2016, we had reported on what we described as the ever increasing ups and downs in the relationship between Iran and Hamas when a senior Hamas official said that Iran is lying about its funding of the organization.
- In January 2016, we recommended a report by the Israeli Rubin Center that looked at some of the relationships between Iran and the Global 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 that according to a Hamas official, Iranian aid to Hamas had “drastically decreased.”