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Report: Iran Meets with Hamas, Hezbollah in Effort to Extend Regional Influence

Leaders of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah met last week in Beirut with officials from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to a report by Avi Issacharoff in The Times of Israel.

Senior members of the Palestinian terror group Hamas and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah met with officials from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps for an iftar meal [breaking of the Ramadan fast] in Beirut this week, according to Palestinian media reports. …

According to Palestinian media reports, the dinner infuriated lower-level Hamas members who took to social media to express their opposition to the meeting. Angry messages were also sent to Mashaal, according to the reports, while the group’s leadership in Gaza and the West Bank refrained from addressing the issue.

Hamas’s military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, on the other hand, expressed its approval for the perceived rapprochement between Hamas and Iran, as its interest in getting reacquainted with Tehran for funding purposes has grown.

Issacharoff also reported that Moussa Abu Marzouk, a deputy of Khaled Mashaal, had secretly met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah last week to discuss indirect talks between Israel and Hamas.

Although Hamas broke with Iran over the civil war in Syria, in which it supported Sunni factions fighting against the Iran-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah, it has recently been working to repair and strengthen ties with the Shiite nation. Last year, a United Nations report confirmed that Iran was behind an intercepted arms shipment that was likely intended for Hamas. Iran has previously boasted about the support it has given to Hamas and Hezbollah, claiming that both have rockets that can hit all of Israel.

While there are sources of disagreement between Hamas and Iran, the Gazan terror group relies on Tehran’s support, and earlier this year IRGC Qods Force commander Gen. Qassem Suleimani met with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.

Leading Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said that, even with a nuclear deal, Iran will continue to be the “world’s chief sponsor of terrorism.”

[Photo: Lilly Green / YouTube ]