Hamas says aid from Iran is forthcoming

Palestinian Interior Minister Said Siyam discusses possibility of Hamas militia training in Iran.

October 12, 2006 20:43
1 minute read.
Hamas says aid from Iran is forthcoming

hamas flags 88. (photo credit: AP [file])

Iran has promised to give assistance to the security forces of the Hamas-led Palestinian government, a Hamas Web site said Friday. A senior Hamas official said Teheran had promised to give vehicles to the group's 3,500-member militia. The promise came during a visit to Teheran by Palestinian Interior Minister Said Siyam, which began Tuesday, according to the Web site. Siam was accompanied by four of his advisers and the head the militia. Siyam met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, visited Iran's security branches and attended a training session at the police academy, the Web site said. Senior Iranian officers promised to assist the Palestinians, it said. "We see the positions of Ahmadinejad as a source of pride for Muslims," Siyam was quoted as saying on the Hamas Web site. "Especially when he challenges the sources of international arrogance," he said, in an apparent reference to America and Israel. Ahmadinejad said Iran had no reservations that would stop it from helping the Hamas government, the Web site said. "The victories of Hamas and Hizbullah have put the Zionist entity in a difficult situation," the site quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. The Hamas representatives discussed the possibility of training its operatives in Iran, Channel 2 reported. Following PA elections earlier this year, Hamas reportedly asked Iran for guidance, instructions and financial assistance as it prepared to take over the Palestinian government. "Hamas is currently trying to obtain funding from Iran and has asked the Iranians for advice on how they think Hamas should lead the PA," then-defense minister Shaul Mofaz told EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana at the time. In 1999, the IDF claimed Iran had been training Hamas guerrillas near Teheran for several years to carry out attacks on Israel, after a military court indicted two Hamas members from Gaza for carrying out illegal activities for the movement that included initiating Iranian training. Hamas denied at the time that it had any military training camps in Iran, dismissing the reports as part of a smear campaign against the Islamic republic because of its arrest of 13 Jews on spying charges. Yaakov Katz and Reuters contributed to this report.

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