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Abbas Greets Iranian People, Hopes to Strengthen Ties

PA Chairman congratulates the Iranian people on Nowruz, expresses his hopes that Iran-PA ties can be strengthened.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 3/21/2014, 10:22 PM

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Friday congratulated the Iranian people on the occasion of the Nowruz holiday, the Iranian new year, wishing them continued prosperity and progress.

Abbas took advantage of the opportunity to express his hopes that the ties between the PA and Iran could be strengthened.

According to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, he expressed hope that the occasion would be an opportunity to strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and cooperation among all countries of the region, in order to serve the interests and stability of all peoples.

Abbas’s greetings to Iran came hours after Iran’s Supreme Leader denied the Holocaust.

In a speech marking Nowruz, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that “we do not know if [the Holocaust] is real or not."

According to the Ayatollah, Europe's criminalization of denying the Holocaust is an attack on Iranian culture.

The PA recently began to renew its ties with the regime in Tehran. This was marked by a visit to Tehran of senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub, during which Rajoub pledged to “continue the resistance” against Israel.

Due to the success of Rajoub’s trip, it was later reported that Iran intends to invite Abbas himself to visit Tehran.

Abbas’s longtime rivals in Hamas have also begun to renew their ties with Iran, which were severely damaged after Hamas supported the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Just last week, Hamas announced renewed diplomatic relations with Iran. That announcement came as Israel revealed the contents of the Klos C weapons ship that was sent from Iran to Gaza.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)