Iran helping Hamas return to Damascus

Iran promoting the return of Hamas' offices to Damascus for the first time since 2011.

Dalit Halevi,

Mahmoud al-Zahar
Mahmoud al-Zahar
Wissam Nassar/Flash 90

Iranian diplomat Amir Al-Moussawi said on Monday that the first practical steps have been taken towards a Hamas return to Damascus.

He said that talks on the issue between the Hamas leadership and the Syrian leadership, with the assistance of Iran and Hezbollah, are ongoing.

Hamas relocated its offices from Damascus to Ankara during the civil war in Syria in 2011, in the wake of its refusal to support Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the uprising against him.

That incident also led to a disconnect between Hamas and Iran, Assad’s close ally, which then reportedly stopped supplying the terror group with weapons.

In an interview with Al Nahda News on Monday, Moussawi also said that restoring normal Hamas-Syria relations is vital to the fight against Israel, and they are based on common interests.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, a member of Hamas' political bureau, stressed the importance of restoring relations with Syria, as the Syrian regime "stands alongside the Palestinian people and opposes the occupation."

He added that "Hamas attaches great importance to maintaining good relations with any state that is hostile to Israel."

Hamas and Iran have restored ties in recent years after the disconnect over Syria, as evident in the summer of 2017 when Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh thanked Iran for its "unlimited" support for the Al-Qassam Brigades and its contribution to the development of Hamas' military capabilities.

Hamas deputy leader Salah Al-Aruri has made several visits to Iran in recent months in which he met with senior officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, another indication that the rift is over.




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