The recent signing of the Iran nuclear deal is already causing a shift of power and reshaping of ties in the Middle East.
A senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said that the Palestinian Authority (PA) seeks to enhance its relationship with Iran, Tasnim news agency reported Monday.
The official, Ahmad Majdalani, made the remarks on Sunday after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran.
He said that the ongoing tensions between the PA and the Hamas terror organization were also discussed during the meeting, adding his hope that Iran could play a key role in ending the dispute.
During his visit to Tehran, Majdalani also presented a letter from PA head Mahmoud Abbas to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The communication, he said, “deals with the current situation in the Palestinian territories” and the “Israeli assaults against our people and holy sites, as well as bilateral relations.”
Israel’s NRG news site reported Tuesday that Abbas is planning a trip to Tehran in the coming months and that details of the visit were also discussed during the meeting. Abbas last visited Iran in 2012.
Ties between Iran and the PA have been weak over the past decade because of the Islamic Republic’s support of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which oppose Abbas’s rule.
Deterioration of Ties Between Hamas and Iran
In the meantime, Iran has canceled a planned visit to Tehran by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal due to the Palestinian terrorist organization’s warming of ties with Saudi Arabia, Arab media reports.
An Iranian official reportedly met with a Hamas delegation in an unnamed Arab country just days before Mashaal was due to make a visit to Tehran that would have included a meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Iranian official informed the Hamas leaders of the unprecedented cancellation but did not offer specific reasons for the move.
According to these reports, the official pointed to Hamas’s improving relations with Saudi Arabia, noting that Tehran is not supportive of the budding friendship with one of its enemies. The official added that in light of Iran’s uncompromising support of the Palestinians—in the economic, military and political spheres—the recent meetings between Mashaal and Saudi officials in Riyadh were viewed by Iran as a personal affront.
In interviews over the past few days, senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said that their relationship with Iran is now virtually nonexistent.
Officials connected to Hezbollah, the Iran-backed terror organization, stated the Islamic Republic is strengthening its ties with the PA as a result of its disappointment with Hamas.
Iran has been one of the primary financiers of Hamas terror activities in the Gaza Strip.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
JNS contributed to this report.
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