Iran’s acting FM meets Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders in Syria, calls for Gaza ceasefire

The meeting came one day after a high-ranking general in the IRGC was killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike near the Syrian city of Aleppo.

By The Algemeiner

Iran’s acting foreign minister Ali Bagheri Kani on Tuesday met with leaders of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Syria, further underscoring the Iranian regime’s support for the terrorist groups as they fight Israeli forces in Gaza.

Bagheri Kani held meetings with key figures from the Palestinian terrorist factions at the Iranian embassy in Damascus, the Syrian capital.

Hamas, which rules Gaza, and PIJ have both long received extensive support from Iran, including funding, weapons, and training.

During his trip, Bagheri Kani also discussed Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza with his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad.

Bagheri Kani said at a joint press conference that he and Mekdad had discussed the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the delivery of humanitarian aid without conditions.

The Iranian diplomat then met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. According to Assad’s office, they discussed bilateral ties between the two allies and “developments in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The meeting came one day after a general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a powerful Iranian military force and a US-designated terrorist organization, was killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike near the Syrian city of Aleppo.

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In recent years, Israel has allegedly launched several strikes against Iranian targets in Syria in order to prevent Tehran from building another terrorist front against the Jewish state.

Tuesday’s meeting also came after Assad met Iran’s so-called “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Tehran last week to offer condolences for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The late Iranian president died in a helicopter crash in northwestern Iran last month along with Bagheri Kani’s predecessor, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

The strong ties between Iran’s Islamist regime and Hamas were evident last month, when Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh delivered a eulogy for Raisi at a funeral in Iran.

During his speech, Haniyeh thanked Raisi and Iran for their continued support of the “resistance factions in Gaza” and for creating, financing, and directing a “resistance axis” of Islamist, anti-Western militant organizations across the Middle East.

Before coming to Syria, Bagheri Kani traveled to Lebanon in his first trip abroad since becoming Iran’s acting top diplomat.

In his day-long visit to Beirut, Bagheri Kani met top Lebanese officials as well as Hassan Nasrallah, the head Hezbollah, the powerful Iran-backed terrorist group based in Lebanon.

While Israel has been fighting Hamas to the south in Gaza, Hezbollah terrorists have been firing rockets daily at northern Israel, displacing tens of thousands of Israeli civilians.

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Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of and massacre across southern Israel launched the war in Gaza. PIJ is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave that has also held Israeli hostages kidnapped during the Oct. 7 onslaught.

Khamenei claimed on Monday that the massacre occurred “just when the region needed it.” He added that there was a plan by “the Americans, the Zionists, of their supporters and of some of the countries in the region to change the equation in the region” — an apparent reference to ongoing, US-brokered efforts to foster a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Many observers have claimed the Oct. 7 atrocities were meant to force Israel into a war and undermine the push for a historic Israel-Saudi normalization agreement.