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Mahmoud Abbas to visit Iran as PA – Iran strengthen bilateral ties
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Mahmoud Abbas to visit Iran
as PA - Iran strengthen bilateral ties
 
Itamar Marcus 

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas will be visiting Tehran in the near future in order to strengthen bilateral ties. Senior Fatah official Abbas Zaki, who is traveling to Iran to arrange Abbas’ visit, said the ties are “an inevitable step if we [the Palestinians] want to confront the Israeli occupation.” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 16, 2015] In the past, Iran was a significant supplier of weapons used in terror against Israel and was behind the shipping of 50 tons of weapons to the Palestinian Authority on the ship "Karine A" that Israel intercepted in 2002.

Earlier this month, Abbas already sent a senior official to Tehran to deliver a personal letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the “Israeli offensives against ‘our people and its holy places.’” PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani was sent “to repair its relations with Iran... and it was agreed to determine actual steps to bring the occupation to an end, in addition to Palestinian participation in resolving the Syrian crisis. This is due to the fact that President Abbas’ initiative and the Iranian initiative to end the war taking place there intersect.” [Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, Aug. 10, 2015]

Significantly, the PA has been reluctant up until now to publicly take sides in the Syrian civil war, in which Iran has been the main supporter of the forces of Syrian President Assad. It may be that in the interest of receiving Iranian aid the PA is willing to side with the Assad regime.

At that first meeting it was decided to schedule the Abbas visit to Iran and that Abbas Zaki will lead a Fatah delegation to Iran to plan the details of the visit.

The following are the articles about the Abbas visit and Iran- PA ties in greater detail:


“Palestinian officials stated yesterday [Aug. 15, 2015] that the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah movement are working for the development of ties with Iran, after an agreement was reached last month with the powers regarding its nuclear program.
A senior PLO official said to AFP that ‘there is an agreement in principle from Iran’s side to receive President Mahmoud Abbas,’ without the date being set. On the same topic, Fatah officials said that a high level delegation from the movement will visit Iran ‘soon,’ in order to organize President Abbas’ visit.
Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki stated to a local radio station that he will head a delegation to Iran,’ as part of the efforts to strengthen ties with it [Iran], and in order to organize President Abbas’ visit. He said that ‘the development of our ties with Iran is an inevitable step if we want to confront the Israeli occupation.’"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 16, 2015]

“PLO Executive Committee Member Ahmed Majdalani, delivered a letter from President Mahmoud Abbas to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani yesterday [Aug. 9, 2015], Sunday.
This took place during a meeting Majdalani held with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Majdalani said that the letter refers to the current state of affairs and Israeli offensives against ‘our people and its holy places, and the bilateral relations between the State of Palestine and the Iranian Republic.’”
[Wattan News Agency, Aug. 10, 2015]

"The [Palestinian] Authority hastened to repair its relations with Iran and the President hastened to send a messenger to Tehran, and it was agreed to determine actual steps to bring the occupation to an end, in addition to Palestinian participation in resolving the Syrian crisis. This is due to the fact that President Abbas’ initiative and the Iranian initiative to end the war taking place there intersect. Interestingly, President Abbas’ messenger to Tehran, [PLO Executive Committee Member] Dr. Ahmed Majdalani said to the Ma’an news agency that ‘the visit was planned in advance, and not meant to coincide with the signing of the nuclear agreement, but rather occurred at the same time by chance ... The Iranian agreement will open the way for the Palestinian cause.’
Majdalani and the Iranian Foreign Minister, who met in Tehran on Sunday [Aug. 9, 2015], agreed on the development of mutual relations. Likewise, the president’s messenger revealed that there will be significant developments in the bilateral relations in the near future, through the establishment of a high-level joint committee to discuss politics, trade, culture and students. The [Palestinian] Authority clarified to the Iranian leadership its position regarding a reconciliation with the Hamas movement through the establishment of a national unity government, and Majdalani added that ‘the Iranian effort to support our efforts to bring about the success of the internal reconciliation process with Hamas is important.’
Likewise, Majdalani discussed with the Iranian minister the results of the nuclear agreement with the US, especially in light of the fact that it will open the way for an international committee to clean the region of Israeli nuclear weapons since Israel no longer has the excuse that there is a nuclear Iran that threatens its existence.”
[Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, Aug. 9, 2015
(updated Aug. 10, 2015)]


 
 


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