By Steven Emerson, Executive Director
Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT)
July 29, 2013
Hamas Holds Secret Meeting With Iran
By John Rossomando • Jul 29, 2013
Hamas, Hizballah and Iran held secret talks last month in Lebanon in an effort to smooth over strained relations stemming from their rival stances on Syria, according to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat.
Hamas has supported Syrian rebels trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime and individual Hamas members have unofficially joined in the rebellion. But arms and fighters supplied by Tehran and its Lebanese proxy Hizballah have helped Assad rebuff rebel advances. Iran has retaliated against Hamas by dramatically cutting funding to the Palestinian terrorist group.
That, combined the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo, has put Hamas in a difficult bind. The Egyptian army has destroyed dozens of smuggling tunnels that fueled the economy in Hamas-run Gaza.
Mousa Abu Marzook and Muhammad Nasr, who belong to Hamas’s political bureau, represented the terrorist group at the recent meeting. Hamas leaders remain hopeful that Iran’s support will return to past levels.
“We have not lost allies; on the contrary, we are keeping all our friends, but there are issues that led to some apathy in the relationship, and we as a movement and government are eager to keep our fraternal relations with all the countries of region, which have a degree of cooperation, coordination, and support because Palestine is the cause of the [Muslim world] and not only the cause of the Palestinians. Therefore, we are eager to iron out all the differences in the interest of our people and cause,” Hamas spokesman Ahmad Yusuf said in a statement.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Arghachi said that Hamas and Iran are close to resolving their differences and misunderstandings over Syria. (Good luck!)
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