Iran promises financial assistance to PA

'The US proved it wouldn't support democracy after it cut aid to the PA.'

By ORLY HALPERN, JPOST STAFF, AP
February 22, 2006 13:25
1 minute read.
mashaal, ahmadinejad 298.88

mashaal, iran pres 298.8. (photo credit: Associated Press [file])

Iran offered Wednesday to help finance a Palestinian Authority run by Hamas, state radio reported. The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, announced the offer after a meeting with Khaled Mashaal, exiled leader of the Hamas, in Tehran, the radio said. Larijani said the decision was taken after the United States said it would not provide aid to an authority governed by Hamas until the group renounced violence, recognized Israel and agreed to abide by existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. "The United States proved that it would not support democracy after it cut its aid to the Palestinian government after Hamas won the elections. We will certainly help the Palestinians," Larijani said, according to the radio. Mashaal said Tuesday that Iran will have a "major role" in Palestinian affairs. But Hamas leaders in the territories told The Jerusalem Post that they were "not rushing" to embrace that role. "The ayatollah's regime will have a major role in Palestine," Mashaal said during a meeting in Teheran with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. "We trust Iran to help us deal with the challenges facing us today." Mashaal is visiting Iran as part of a tour of Arab and Muslim countries aimed at gaining political and financial support for the soon-to-be Hamas-led government. The Palestinian Authority faces a serious financial crunch and possible collapse following the landslide Hamas victory in the recent Palestinian legislative elections. The US, EU and Canada have threatened to stop all assistance to the Palestinian Authority once Hamas takes control.


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