The Secrets of Arabia news site has learned from sources close to Hamas that, upon the request of Tehran, a meeting recently brought together the movement’s officials and Iranian officials in one of the region’s capitals. During the meeting Tehran invited the movement’s leadership, including the Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, to visit Iran. The movement’s delegation apologized for refusing the meeting; however, they welcomed the rapprochement with Iran.
According to the news site, Hamas officials told the Iranian delegation that they categorically reject restoring relations with the Syrian regime, explaining that their “stance regarding Syria is fixed and cannot be changed because the movement cannot overlook the Syrian regime’s crimes that have claimed the lives of innocent civilians.”
The source told Secrets of Arabia that the Iranian delegation proposed organising Meshaal’s visit to Tehran despite the movement’s unchanged position on Syria, but Hamas refused the proposal and told the Iranian delegation that the time is not yet right for such a visit. Its delegation said the movement was willing to cooperate with Iran due to its regional importance and to restore normal relations between the two parties, but not at the expense of the Syrian issue.
The source revealed that: “Iran feels the need to restore ties with Hamas especially as its reputation has deteriorated in the Muslim world due to its support for the Syrian regime. Iran believes that Hamas represents an important pathway to Muslim hearts in the region. Meanwhile, Hamas also feels the need for rapprochement with Iran. The movement was counting on the Arab Spring and the Gulf States for support, only to be surprised when many Gulf States plotted against its most important ally in the region, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his government.”