Saleh al-Arouri .
(photo credit: ARAB MEDIA)
Hamas Politburo deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri attended a memorial ceremony in Tehran on Thursday for Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh.
Arouri attended the event alongside Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei; Qassem Soleimani, commander of foreign operations for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards; and Nabil Qaouk, a top Hezbollah official.
The senior Hamas official has traveled to Iran at least four times in the past six-and-a-half months to meet with senior officials and attend various ceremonies.
In an interview in late December, Arouri praised Iran for its fiery rhetoric against Israel and support for the “Palestinian resistance.”
“Iran is the only country that says that entity is carcinogenic and should be uprooted from the region,” he told the Hamas-linked Al-Quds TV, using the derogatory term in reference to Israel. “And it is the only country that is prepared to provide real and public support to the Palestinian resistance and others to confront the entity.”
Over the past several months, Hamas and Iran have made major progress in repairing their relations, which were said to have soured after Hamas refused to support Iranian-backed Syrian President Bashar Assad when the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011.
Arouri did not speak at the commemoration ceremony in Tehran on Thursday.