Ismail Haniyeh, one of the so-called top-five leaders of Hamas, announced that a delegation of high-ranking Hamas officials had reached Teheran on Saturday, 20 July.
Haniyeh said “The visit will go on for a few days. We’re expecting important results”. Saleh al-Arouri, the leader of the military wing of the group in the West Bank, was leading the Hamas delegation.
Al-Arouri stated in that meeting, “We are on the same path as the Islamic Republic — the path of battling the Zionist entity and the arrogant ones”.
According to the media outlet Asharq Al-Awsat, the meeting included the discussion about possible enhancing bilateral relations between Hamas and Teheran. Particularly regarding the political and financial support for the Palestinian resistance to Israel.
Kamal Kharazi, the head of Iran’s Foreign Policy Council, said that the two delegations discussed “issues and problems in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the Gaza Strip.”
According to the Teheran Times, Kharrazi said, “Policies of the enemies of Islam and Palestine in supporting occupant Israel are obvious. The Palestinians are aware of these policies and have come to the conclusion that they should stand against the foreigners’ plots”.
Haniyeh did not mention detailed information about the discussed topics in the meeting. However, he stated according to the Times of Israel that he “did not oppose establishing a temporary Palestinian state based on 1967 borders but maintained the group’s view that Israel’s control over any lands was illegitimate. “
Since the 1990s, Iran has been one of the most prominent supporters of Hamas, especially during the Second Intifada and after Hamas won the Gaza elections in 2006. Furthermore, Iran is known for providing military aid and training for the Hamas military wing, Qassam Brigades.
The bilateral relations between the Hamas and Iran have been deteriorating since the disagreement over the Syrian revolution in 2011, in which Hamas refused to support Syria’s President Bashar Assad. Iran and Hezbollah tried earlier this year to negotiate a new agreement between Syria and Hamas, which eventually failed.
Before the meeting in Teheran, a delegation of Hamas headed by Osama Hamadan, a senior high representative of Hamas in Lebanon, met with Hossein Amirabdollahian, the Special Aide to the Iranian President, in the Iranian embassy in Beirut.
In this meeting on Wednesday, 17 July, the delegations discussed the recent development in Palestine and the reactions to the US’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan.
Lead image: Ismail Haniyeh/AFP