The Islamic Republic of Iran has cut around 90 per cent of its financial support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, pushing it to make severe salary cuts for its employees, Felesteen reported on Sunday. Despite this, leaders of the movement insist that they still have good relations with Tehran.
According to the newspaper, Iranian officials have said that the relationship has shifted from Islamic Jihad being an “important ally” to a “friend for whom Iran is unable to afford to pay for all its needs.”
A senior Islamic Jihad official revealed to Alkhaleejonline.com that relations between the two sides deteriorated about five months ago. “Iran’s relations with Islamic Jihad have been staggering since the latter refused to issue a statement supporting Tehran’s backing of the Houthis in Yemen,” said the anonymous official. He insisted that Islamic Jihad’s position regarding the Houthis and Iranian support remains the same.
The financial crisis has been getting worse over the past nine months; full salaries have been unpaid for five months, said the official. He pointed out that Islamic Jihad’s closer relationship with Hamas, which is regarded as a “non-desired ally of Iran”, has affected the link with Tehran.
Islamic Jihad also fears that the new Iranian Shia arm in Gaza, Al-Sabiroon Movement, which only has a very few affiliates, will supplant it in the eyes of the Iranian government. Al-Sabiroon has been receiving generous funds from Iran and this appears to be at the expense of the Palestinian faction. Diplomatic efforts have failed to resolve the issue.