Hamas dismisses reports of Iranian rapprochement as fake news

Hamas dismisses reports of Iranian rapprochement as fake news
Hamas has denied reports saying Iran would resume financial support for the Palestinian Hamas movement carried in Saudi and Israeli press
2 min read
30 May, 2017
Ties had been strained between Iran and Hamas since the Syrian civil war began. [Getty]
Hamas has denied press reports indicating Iran intends to resume financial support for the Palestinian Hamas movement following alleged discussions between senior officials from both sides.

The reports were carried by the Saudi 
pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Tuesday.

Senior Hamas leader, Musa Abu Marzouk, vehemently denied the reports on the same day, dismissing them as fake news. 

Speaking to the Al-Quds newspaper, he said nothing has changed in Hamas' relationship with Iran, describing the media reports as "fabricated" and "baseless."

The Saudi report claimed Iran and Hamas have agreed to restore relations to the level they were at before the Syrian civil war, when both sides broke off ties.

Iran curtailed funding to the group in 2012 after Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Meshaal declared his support for the Syrian people against Bashar al-Assad.

The exiled leadership, which had been based in Damascus for more than a decade, subsequently relocated to Qatar.

The alleged agreement was reached after weeks of discussions between senior Iranian representatives and Palestinian officials in Lebanon, and will restore financial support for Hamas.

Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and senior Hizbollah officials were present at the meetings, Asharq al-Awsat further claimed.

The Saudi newspaper also said Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh is expected to visit Tehran in the near future.

On this subject, Abu Marzouk insisted any and all trips abroad by senior members would be officially announced.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Hamas remain tense, as Riyadh primarily backs Hamas' rival Fatah and the Palestinian Authority. At a summit in Riyadh in late May, Donald Trump lumped the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group together with Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and Islamic State as terrorist organisations.