Hamas announced Monday that the government in the Gaza Strip renewed its ties with Iran following the election of Hassan Rouhani as Iranian president.
Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar sad that relations had never been completely severed, but were affected by events in Syria.
According to Zahar, Hamas made clear that it was not involved in the Syrian conflict and would not claim allegiance to either side in the country’s civil war. Previous reports suggested that Iran decreased aid to Hamas because the organization had supported rebel groups opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad, an ally of the Iranian regime.
At a press conference in Gaza, Zahar said that Hamas is not interested in cutting ties with any Arab nation, even those waging wear against it, in an apparent reference to Egypt, which declared Hamas a “terrorist organization,” according to Zahar.
He said that economic ties with Egypt continue and there is a supply of merchandise and gas to Gaza, but the new regime in Cairo is not interested in having diplomatic relations with Hamas.
Zahar also addressed the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, stating that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas does not represent the Palestinian people.
He added that any agreement made in what he termed “Oslo 2” would “not apply to all Palestinians,” because the Palestinian side is “compromising on Jerusalem, refugees and borders in cooperation with the American government and the Israeli occupation.”
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Zahar-Hamas-renewed-ties-with-Iran-following-Rouhani-election-334478