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      Iran Intends to Invite Abbas to Tehran

      “Peace partner” Abbas to be invited to visit Iran, whose leaders calls for Israel's destruction.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 1/31/2014, 6:46 AM

      PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
      PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
      Reuters

      Israel’s “peace partner” will be invited to visit the country whose leaders refer to Israel as “the rabid dog of the region,” the Chinese Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday, citing an Arabic language newspaper in London.

      According to the report, Iran intends to invite Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to visit Tehran soon.

      The Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported that Abbas’s visit to Tehran aims at rehabilitating the Iranian-PA official ties that have been frigid for years due to Iran's support to Hamas, longtime rival to Abbas’s Fatah movement.

      The report said that contacts between Iran and the PA were renewed following this week's visit to Tehran of senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub.

      Abbas sent Rajoub to visit Iran and brief the Iranian leadership on the situation in the PA-assigned areas and on the negotiations with Israel, according to Xinhua.

      "Our openness to Iran is a Palestinian interest and part of our strategy to open to the whole world, which is interested in Palestine and the Palestinian cause," Rajoub was quoted as having said.

      While in Tehran, Rajoub pledged during a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to continue “the resistance” against the Jewish state, vowing that Fatah "will not stop the resistance until the establishment of an independent Palestinian government" in eastern Jerusalem.

      Zarif accused Israel of using Tehran's nuclear program to distract from its "crimes" against the Palestinians.

      "Under the pretext of Iran's peaceful nuclear energy (program), the Zionists have always tried to distract governments and nations' public opinion from their own crimes in Palestine," he charged.

      Hamas admitted last year that it was paying a heavy price in lost aid over its assistance to the rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

      Iran, who supports Assad in the civil war, reportedly punished Hamas by making a meaningful cut in its aid to Hamas. As the rift between the sides deepened over the war in Syria, a senior Hamas official claimed that the terror group will not do Iran's bidding in any war with Israel.

      Nevertheless, senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar claimed last month that the terrorist group had "resumed" relations with Iran after a temporary falling out over the Syrian conflict.