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Monday, February 13, 2017

Hamas to attend Iran conference on 'Intifada'

Hamas spokesman Husam Badran insists that the relationship between the movement and Iran is good and there have not been tensions between the sides.

Speaking on Sunday to the Palestine newspaper, considered the official mouthpiece of Hamas, Badran claimed, "In general, we are building our foreign relations based on the interest of the Palestinian people, and we cooperate with anyone who can cater to the Palestinian problem and support our struggle."

He expressed hope that Hamas will continue to strengthen its relations with Iran, noting that a senior Hamas delegation will visit Tehran and participate in a conference in support of “the Intifada.”

The newspaper reported that the Iranian parliament sent a formal invitation to Hamas to attend the conference, to be convened on February 20 in Tehran.

Iran was once a stronger supporter of Hamas, but the two have been at odds over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. As a result of Hamas’s refusal to support Assad in the uprising, an angry Iran reportedly stopped supplying the terror group with weapons.

Last year, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal admitted that Iran had cut back its assistance to Hamas but denied reports that Iran's move stemmed from a disconnect between Hamas and the Islamic Republic.

"Iran was once a main supporter of the movement, but today the scope of its support has changed and we are striving to diversify the sources of official and popular support," he said at the time.

Even as Hamas refused to back Assad, it always refrained from criticizing Iran for its role in the mass murder of Sunni Muslims in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Hamas's main interest is to build regional alliances that can assist in the fight against Israel, and simultaneously establish Islamic rule in the Middle East while pushing aside Western influence.