Iran has used the visit of Gaza’s Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to offer “scientific and technological experience” to the PA for a “victory” over Israel.
Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Haniyeh Saturday of “the need for Palestinian adherence to the basic principles of resistance as the key ingredient for their victory against Israel,” according to the official Iranian PRESS TV news agency. Haniyeh replied, “Muslims through full unity and with the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran will liberate Al Aqsa mosque [on the Temple Mount] in the future.”
Haniyeh is in Iran for the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and is trying to shore up badly needed financial support as well as outflank PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, head of the largely secular and rival Fatah party.
The two factions signed an agreement in Doha last week for a new unity government headed by Abbas and without PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Abbas is risking financial support from the European Union by joining Hamas without demanding that it reject terror and that it recognize Israel, although Abbas himself has not done so formally.
Iran’s offer of “scientific” assistance to the Palestinian Authority underlines the shared and stated objective of Iran and Hamas to destroy Israel.
A rejection of Iran by Abbas could throw the Palestinian Authority into further disarray, while accepting the Hamas-Iran alliance would clearly make Abbas an outcast even to the appeasement-minded European Union. Nearly two years ago, Abbas rejected advice from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said, "He who does not represent the Iranian people, who forged elections and who suppresses the Iranian people and stole the authority, is not entitled to talk about Palestine, or the President of Palestine.
Iran and Hamas’s supreme leader Khaled Mashaal’s have been at odds with Haniyeh for not siding with its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad. The financial problems of Hamas in Gaza are attributed as the reason for Haniyeh's visiting Tehran.