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Hamas: Iran reduces financial support over Syria stance

June 3, 2013 7:12 P.M. (Updated: June 6, 2013 9:57 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Iran has significantly reduced financial support to Hamas because of the group's support for opposition groups in Syria's internal conflict, a senior party official said Monday.

Ahmed Yousif told Ma'an that Iran has never threatened to completely stop financial support to Hamas, but said there has been a serious reduction in funds due to the group's stance on Syria's ongoing conflict.

Hamas offices in Iran and Lebanon are still open, Yousif said, highlighting that Hamas decided to leave Syria to show "support to the Syrian people against tyranny and oppression."

The Hamas official dismissed media reports that Hezbollah and Iran had warned officials to leave their respective countries if the group didn't change its position on Syria.

Yousif said that Hamas would not yield to pressure from Iran but would not reject its support. "We will not accept to bargain for our positions," he added.

Hamas has other sources of finances and is not worried by a reduction in Iranian aid, Yousif said.

After years of alignment with Damascus, during which he used Damascus as a base, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal relocated in 2012 to Doha, severing ties with Bashar Assad and declaring his support for the revolt against the Syrian president's regime.
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