Hamas delegation welcomed in Iran

High-ranking members of Hamas meet with prominent Iranian officials in Tehran, as lawmakers from the Islamic Republic affirm their support for the terror group.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A delegation of high-ranking members of the Hamas terror group touched down in Tehran on Thursday morning and were warmly received by Iranian officials, Farsi-language media reported.

Led by senior Hamas politburo official Khalil al-Hayya, who is based in Gaza, the delegation is meeting with a number of prominent Iranian government officials to discuss progress in the “Palestinian nation’s resistance,” according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Hamas’ Lebanese and Iranian representatives are also expected to join the meetings.

The Hamas visit to Iran comes on the eve of International Quds Day, an Islamic day of rage aimed at opposing Israeli control of Jerusalem. The protest day takes place on the last Friday of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which will be on April 29th this year.

Iran and Hamas have long shared close ties, with Hamas’ chief official Ismail Haniyeh thanking the Islamic Republic in 2017 for its financial and military support.

Tehran “did not hold back with money, weapons, and technical support,” al-Hayya said.

On Thursday, Iranian parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said during a meeting with al-Hayya that former Iranian leader Imam Khomeini “considered Palestine as the main issue of the Islamic world.” He emphasized that “the Islamic Republic will continue its support for the Palestinians and Al-Quds [Jerusalem.]”

Al-Hayya told Qalibaf that “the occupiers have been attempting to increase their presence at Al-Aqsa and empty the mosque from Palestinians,” IRNA reported.

He added that “the Palestinian people and resistance groups have thwarted that plan, with Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa still remaining as the symbol of resistance.”

Last week, Hamas called for a Palestinian “mobilization” to “protect Al-Aqsa Mosque,” encouraging violent rioting and clashes with Israeli security forces.

As talks aimed at coaxing Iran into a nuclear deal appear doomed to fail, reports indicate that Saudi Arabia has started cozying up to the Islamic Republic.