Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hamas snubs Iranian normalisation offer


Khaled Meshaal
Khaled Meshaal

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas - has refused an Iranian offer of normalisation and funds if it severed all ties with Saudi Arabia, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported on Friday.

According to the London based newspaper, Hamas’ top leader Khalid Meshaal rejected the Iranian offer of closer ties with Tehran, fearing this would be seen as an agreement on Iran’s hostile stance toward Saudi Arabia and support for its policy in Syria.
Sources told the newspaper that there is a broad “consensus” within Hamas not to “become involved in any alliance with Iran” in order to preserve its Sunni base in the region.
The sources said that Iran has stopped all forms of support for Hamas due to the latter’s position towards Syria. Similarly, Tehran also stopped its support for Islamic Jihad because of its criticism of Iran’s intervention in Yemen.
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat said that Hamas rejected the Iranian offer despite the financial crisis it has been facing and its inability to pay salaries for its activists and employees in Gaza.
The newspaper reported that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif made the offer during a recent meeting with the Hamas representative in Tehran, Dr Khalid Al-Kaddoumi.

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