Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Tehran Iran 390 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)
Hamas Prime Minister
Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Tehran Friday afternoon, where he was
welcomed at Mehrabad International Airport by Iranian Foreign Minister
On the agenda for Haniyeh's visit was to meet with
Iranian officials and "review regional developments," Iran's Fars news
Late last month, Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nono
said Haniyeh was going to Tehran at the invitation of Iranian President
Earlier this week, however, highlighting
the divide between Sunni Arab leaders and Shi'ite Iran, leaders from
Gulf states warned Haniyeh not to visit Iran a planned, the Al-Quds daily reported.
to the report, sources said "Officials in the Gulf states advised
Haniyeh not to visit Iran due to tense relations," and "expressed
concern over Iran's ambitions in the Persian Gulf."
said high-level officials in Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait - which Haniyeh
recently visited - urged him to cancel the planned Iran visit, saying
"without a doubt, Haniyeh's visit to Tehran will have consequences."
Late last month, the Gaza-based Hamas leader departed the Strip for a tour of Iran and GUlf states.
diplomatic source told Reuters that Iran had funded Hamas in the past
with up to $300 million per year, but the flow of money had not been
regular in 2011. "Payment has been in suspension since August," said the
source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
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 his capital Damascus for the
Reuters contributed to this report.