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Abbas Accepts Invitation to Visit Iran

Abbas accepted an invitation to visit Iran, a move that might expand Tehran’s “axis of evil” but may anger his EU benefactors.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/8/2012, 3:56 PM

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Israel news photo:: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in Jordan Sunday he is accepting an invitation by Iran  to visit the Islamic Republic for the Non-Aligned Summit in August. Iran is to suceed Egypt as the rotating president of the Non-Alligned Movement.

Egypt’s newly-elected Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi also is expected to attend as Cairo renew ties with Iran.

Iran’s deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian issued the invitation from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Jordan, where he met with Abbas.

Israel has a worried eye over the Iranian-Hizbullah-Syrian axis, which was even a stronger threat with the presence of Turkey until Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent turnabout against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

A visit by Abbas to Iran will not down well with the United States, but the Palestinian Authority already has discarded the Obama administration for opposing its moves to win United Nations recognition as a country without negotiating with Israel.

However, Abbas may be risking his support from his European Union benefactors by flirting with Iran, which  finances and arms Hamas. De facto Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh visited Iran last February.

Iran is under increasing heavily sanctions for not cooperating with Western powers’ insistence  that he open nuclear sites for United Nations inspectors. Iran is assumed to be hiding development towards acquiring the capability to produce and deliver a nuclear weapon.