Hamas says visit to Iran meant to underline rejection of Israeli demands
SAID KHATIB (AFP/File)
The presence of a Hamas delegation in Iran is supposed to hammer home the Islamist group's rejection of the Israeli government's demand that is sever ties with country, a senior leader said on Sunday.
"Our presence in Iran is the practical denial of the third precondition -- cutting ties with Iran," Hamas deputy leader Saleh Arouri was quoted as saying in Tehran, in a fulsome dismissal of the Israeli security cabinet's preconditions for recognizing a Palestinian unity government containing Hamas.
"Undoubtedly, the Palestinian resistance forces will never give up ... their arms," Arouri was quoted as saying by Reuters, citing Persian-language news agencies.
A high-ranking Hamas delegation began a visit to Iran Friday to inform its backers in Tehran about reconciliation efforts with rival Palestinian faction Fatah.
Both the US and Israel have said that they expect any Palestinian unity government to commit to disarming Hamas -- designated as a terror organization by the United States and Europe -- and recognizing the State of Israel.
Israel has gone further and is demanding that the Islamist movement sever ties with Tehran.
Arouri's defiant comments won the applause of a top aide to Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
"We congratulate you for declaring that you will not set your weapons aside and for describing it as your red line," Khamenei's international affairs adviser Ali Akbar Velayati was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.
In a separate meeting, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Admiral Ali Shamkhani was quoted by Iran's Press TV as saying that he hoped Hamas would continue to be a "central pioneer of the Palestinian resistance."
"The US and the Zionist regime feel threatened by any balance shift in the Middle East in favor of regional people and governments engaged in the fight against terrorism," Shamkhani charged during the meeting.
"They seek to obstruct the path of anti-terrorism fight by bringing up unfounded pretexts such as blocking Iran’s regional sway."
Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007 with Iranian backing, but is expected to hand it over to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.
Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.
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That should tell the Trump Adm everything it needs and move the embassy to J' salem.
at some point Iran may need to be nuked. it end the Japanese war and they have been a great nation since. maybe dropping a couple more nukes would work as well.