Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Hamas Keeps Door Open with Iran Despite Comments by Revolutionary Guards | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Members of Iranian revolutionary guard march during parade to commemorate anniversary of Iran-Iraq war, in Tehran. Photo: Reuters

Ramallah – Palestinian sources told Asharq Al-Awat that Hamas Movement had deliberately used a strict tone in replying to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, after an agreement reached between its internal and external leadership, including the movement, which supports restoring complete relations with Tehran.

According to the sources, different leaderships of Hamas had agreed on the need to respond to the Revolutionary Guards’ remarks, and send a deliberate message that the movement was not controllable by any party, and that this matter will not be part of any future agreements.

Hamas had issued an official statement condemning remarks made by Khosro Orouj, an advisor to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, in which he accused the Palestinian group of seeking to enter into talks with Israel through Turkey.

The statement described the comments of the Iranian official as “unfounded fabrications,” and devoid of truth. It added that Hamas’ official policy “is not to enter into talks with the enemy.”

Hamas said that “it will remain at the forefront of the resistance in Palestine until the liberation and the return of the [Palestinian refugees].”

The Hamas statement was issued only few hours after Orouj’s remarks, in which he said that Hamas’ efforts to sign an agreement with Israel through Turkey “contradicts the path of Imam Khomeimi that rejects sitting with the oppressor on one table.”

The remarks of Orouj and the reply of Hamas had lifted the level of tension between both parties. A Hamas source told Asharq Al-Awsat: “There is nothing new in the relations,” denying the presence of any tension between both groups. “However,” he said: “We were surprised by the comments of the advisor and therefore, we had to reply.”

The source said: “Everyone knows that Hamas is the spearhead of resistance in the region. No one can distort such facts due to the presence of political disputes.” The source said that the reason behind the Iran-Hamas dispute remains at the Arab level.

Hamas’ relations with Iran had deteriorated after the movement had supported the Syrian Revolution against the Iran-backed regime.

Sources close to Hamas said: “Iran wants a different position from Hamas regarding Syria, and it also wants a supportive position in Yemen, and another position against Saudi Arabia, however, the movement had refused for several reasons.”

The source said that Iran had decided to stop financing Hamas when the movement refused to stay in the Syrian axis.

“Iran wants to move the Palestinian factions with a remote control. If they do not abide to its orders, Tehran uses money to exert pressure on them,” the source added.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards issued a cooling statement yesterday in which it described Hamas as being at the forefront of the nation’s battle against the Zionists.

In a statement carried by Iran’s Mehr news agency, the IRGC Public Relations department said: “Hamas, has dealt a heavy blow to the Zionist regime and inflicted humiliating defeats on it in the 22-day, 51-day and 8-day wars, is at the forefront of the Palestinian nation’s anti-Zionist resistance and struggle.”

The statement said the IRGC’s stances are announced in formal statements or by the IRGC commander, describing any other comments as personal and unofficial.

Hamas’ leadership in Gaza is currently looking to open new relations with the Iranian regime, a move that is possible when Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal loses his seat during this year’s upcoming elections.