'Hamas will not be subservient to Iran'

Senior Hamas official says if Israel strikes Iran, Hamas will not take part in fighting, the 'Guardian' reports.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 6, 2012 19:42
1 minute read.
Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Tehran

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Tehran Iran 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)

Hamas will not be subservient to Iran, the Guardian quoted senior officials in the Gaza-based organization as saying Tuesday.

Last month, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh visited Iran for a three-day trip in a show of solidarity with the Shi’ite regime. The move highlighted the divide between Sunni Arab leaders and Shi’ite Iran, as leaders from the Gulf states warned Haniyeh not to visit Iran as planned.

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During the visit, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “Iran will always be supportive of the Palestinian cause and the Islamic resistance in Palestine.”

Salah Bardawil, a member of the Hamas political bureau, denied that his organization would launch rockets at Israel in response to a potential Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear sites. “If there is a war between two powers, Hamas will not be part of such a war,” the Guardian quoted him as saying.

“Hamas is not part of military alliances in the region... our strategy is to defend our rights.”

The sentiment was echoed by another senior Hamas official, who said the organization “would not get involved” in an Iranian-Israeli war, according to the Guardian report.

Bardawil also downplayed the sum of money his organization receives from Tehran: “In the early days of the blockade, the money was very good, but it was reduced two years ago.”

Analysts and diplomatic sources say Iran is unhappy with Hamas for its refusal to offer public support to its ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has hosted the Hamas leadership-in-exile in Damascus for the past decade. Recent European and US sanctions against the Iranian regime have also limited the amount of funds available to Tehran for donations.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat


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