MidEast

Iran to Resume Funding for Hamas, Report Says

Iran has agreed to resume its financial support for the terrorist organization Hamas, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Tuesday.

The deal to restore Hamas’s funding came after top Hamas officials recently met in Lebanon with senior members of the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, is expected to visit Tehran in the near future to bridge gaps between the two parties and put old disagreements to rest in light of Hamas’s worsening financial crisis, according to Palestinian sources.

In the past, the Islamic Republic has bankrolled Hamas with tens of millions of dollars to help restock its weapons arsenal and reconstruct tunnels used by the group in its terror operations against Israel. Iran has also pledged financial rewards to the families of Palestinian terrorists at the height of the terror wave that erupted in Israel in October 2015.

Relations between Hamas and Tehran began to deteriorate in 2012, after the wave of Arab Spring revolutions reached Syria, where the two parties find each other in opposite camps. Hamas is supporting the Sunni-led opposition against the regime of Bashar al Assad, while Iran and Hezbollah are firmly aligned with the regime.

The report said that as part of the agreement to restore payments, the Iranians dropped their earlier demand for Hamas to take Iran’s side in the power struggle between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia.

During his recent trip to Riyadh, U.S. President Trump singled out Iran as a major sponsor of international terrorism and, together with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, called for the isolation of the Islamic Republic.

[Photo: Flash90]