Deputy Chairman of Hamas' political bureau, Musa Abu Marzouk, blamed Iran for lying about financial aid to Hamas, claiming that the Palestinian Islamist movement has not received any Iranian funding since 2009, Asharq al-Awsat reported on Sunday.
In a recording of a private conversation with an unidentified person leaked to the London-based newspaper, Abu Marzouk is heard saying that "the story is not like Iran presents it… The Iranians are masters of diplomatic wordplay. Since 2009, we have not received anything from them and everything they say is a lie, they didn’t contribute anything to us."
Abu Marzouk added that "whenever the idea of Iranian financial aid to Hamas rose, Iran conditioned it on Hamas working for the improvement of Iran's relations with Sudan."
It is not only the lack of financial aid that Abu Marzouk blames Iran for in the recording, but also the lack of military aid. The senior Hamas leader rejected Iranian claims that a number of ships carrying weapons that were intercepted by Israel in recent years were meant for Hamas. "Every ship caught carrying ammunition since 2011 has been, according to the Iranians, directed at us, in Gaza," he said sarcastically.
While recent reports have revealed a new Hezbollah initiative to mediate between Iran and Hamas
, conditioning Iranian aid to Hamas on the group’s support for Iran's involvement in Yemen's civil war, Abu Marzouk vehemently attacked Iran on its intervention in the Gulf state.
The senior Hamas leader voiced strong opposition to Iran's involvement in Yemen, arguing that "the Iranians have ruined the country due to their cunning policy there and the way they treated the people."
Since Abu Marzouk is expected to soon lead Hamas' delegation to Lebanon to meet Iranian senior officials, his remarks against Iran may reflect an attempt by Hamas to squeeze Iran and force it to give the group more financial aid.