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Hamas Expresses Concern over Ties with Iran | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hamas Expresses Concern over Ties with Iran

London- Commander of Hamas’ West Bank Department Saleh al-Arouri has expressed deep concern over the high cost that the movement might pay to Iran in return for the military and financial support received by Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, sources affiliated with Islamic movement in Turkey said.

Arouri, who resides in Turkey, accused Commander of Iran’s Quds Force Qassem Soleimani of attempting to “lure Hamas by blurring the identity of the Qassam Brigades and integrate it with Quds Force to become an Iranian executive tool.”

Arouri said in a closed session that Soleimani wants Hamas’ full loyalty similar to the Islamic Jihad movement, which announced its allegiance to Iran during a visit to Tehran by a delegation headed by its Secretary General Ramadan Shalah.

Arouri expressed fear that Hamas would be blacklisted by Arabs and the West due to its armed wing’s loyalty to Iran. He also feared that relations between al-Qassam and Iranian Revolutionary Guards might be similar to ties that exist between the Lebanese so-called Hezbollah and Iran.

His statements came amid disputes inside Hamas movement on relations with different axes in the region.

One faction in Hamas supports restoring relations with Iran at the expense of other Arab countries, while another faction rejects repairing ties.

Among those supporting the restoration of relations with Iran is Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar, who has very close ties to al-Qassam Brigades.

In the closed session, Arouri talked about Hamas’ participation in municipal elections, and expressed support to Zahar’s statements regarding not letting Mahmoud Abbas return to the Gaza Strip.

However, Arouri criticized Zahar’s announcements, especially that the latter expressed his stance during interviews with Iranian media, such as Fares News Agency.

Arouri said Zahar’s remarks won’t benefit Hamas, which will appear to be disregarding the Cairo and Doha agreement.