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      Hamas Leader to Visit Tehran

      Khaled Mashaal, the head of Hamas’s political bureau, will visit Iran soon after two years of tense relations.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 10/11/2013, 5:15 AM

      Khaled Mashaal
      Khaled Mashaal
      Flash 90

      Khaled Mashaal, the head of Hamas’s political bureau, will visit Iran soon, the movement confirmed on Thursday, according to Kol Yisrael radio.

      Hamas used to be heavily backed by Iran but the relations between the Islamic Republic and the terror group have been strained for the past two years because of the civil war in Syria.

      Iran is a supporter of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and its former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Revolutionary Guards to ensure that the Assad regime survives the threat to its survival.

      Hamas, on the other hand, expressed support for the rebels, resulting in Iran slashing its support for the movement and giving it to the Islamic Jihad instead. The support for the rebels also caused the Syrian government to shut down all of Hamas’s offices in Damascus.

      Since Hamas was kicked out of Syria, reported Kol Yisrael, the authorities in Tehran have refused to host Mashaal. However, according to the report, a Hamas official recently visited Tehran, bringing about a thaw in the relations that allowed Mashaal’s upcoming visit.

      Mashaal, who visited Turkey this week, called for an end to Palestinian Authority peace talks with Israel and for an armed struggle to “liberate Jerusalem”.