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Hamas delegation meets with Iranian foreign minister in Tehran

Aug. 7, 2017 6:43 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 8, 2017 11:28 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Hamas delegation traveled to Iran on Monday and met with the country’s foreign minister, Muhammad Javad Zarif, in Tehran, Hamas' public information office in Gaza said.

The delegation reportedly included Hamas officials Izzat al-Rishq, Usama Hamdan, Saleh al-Arouri, and Zaher Jabarin.

According to a Hamas statement, Zarif reiterated that Palestine remained a top foreign policy priority for Iran, adding that the Shia-majority Islamic republic valued its relationships with all Palestinian political factions in general, and with Hamas in particular.

"We are ready to put aside all disagreements for the sake of supporting Palestine and the Palestinian people as well as the unity of Muslim community," Zarif was quoted as saying, adding that Iran’s support of Palestine remained unwavering.

Al-Rishq meanwhile reiterated that Hamas also valued its relationship with Iran as a Muslim country for whom the issue of Palestine remained a central cause.

Hamas, al-Rishq said, "believes that the Muslim community should be united and should put disputes aside and point all forces at the joint enemy, which is the (Israeli) occupation."

The Palestinian political faction is currently in a delicate position due to a diplomatic siege by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Sunni-majority countries on long-time Hamas supporter Qatar.

In the initial days of the diplomatic crisis, Qatar’s relationship with the Hamas “terror group” was cited as a main justification for the siege, but in the end, severing ties with Hamas did not make it on Saudi Arabia’ list of demands to Doha.

As a result of the crisis, Hamas has attempted to consolidate ties with Iran -- a fierce rival of both Israel and Saudi Arabia -- and Egypt, the only country sharing a border with the besieged Gaza Strip besides Israel, in order to maintain its leaders’ freedom of movement.
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