Skip to main content

Palestinian news agency publishes article about warming Fatah-Iran ties

Headline: “Revival of ties between Fatah and Iran”
     “The Iranian Oftob newspaper published an article about Tehran and Damascus becoming closer with the Fatah movement, and how it influences the Hamas movement. The article noted that these steps carry within them political messages to the Palestinian movement, whose ties with Iran and Syria were influenced by its stance regarding the crisis in Syria.
The Syrian government agreed to reopen the Fatah movement office in Damascus, 33 years after it was closed. Likewise, PLO Political Committee member Ahmed Majdalani visited Tehran last week [Aug. 9, 2015] and met with [Iranian] Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Majdalani said to the Iranian news agency Fars that he is discussing with Iranian officials arrangements for the visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Iran in the next two months. The Oftob newspaper said that the change in the position of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement regarding ties with Syria and Iran is due to several reasons, including the fact that after the signing of the Iranian nuclear agreement, Abbas, like many others, is interested in good ties with Tehran. Iran, on the other hand, found a good political opportunity to create balance in its ties with Hamas and Fatah. The newspaper added that Iran demands Hamas behave more logically with certain groups or countries, apparently referring to Saudi Arabia, where Head of the Hamas Political Bureau Khaled Mashaal visited about a month ago, which was met with criticism by Iran.
The newspaper quoted member of Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Shura Council (the Parliament) [parenthesis in source] Ahmad Bakhshayesh: ‘Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to Tehran does not point to a change in Iran’s positions.’ He noted that ‘Tehran supported Hamas constantly, transparently and honestly.’
He said: ‘We supported Hamas during the wars in Gaza to the best of our ability, but we saw that the positions it took in Syria were opposed to our position, and during the period of the deposed [Egyptian] President Mohamed Morsi, it united with him against [Syrian President] Bashar Assad. Iran ignored all of this, but we saw how Hamas took a position that supported Saudi Arabia, while the Saudi planes bombed the Houthis and the Ansar Allah movement in Yemen.’
The Iranian Parliament member continued: ‘Therefore, we have to act in a manner that will influence Hamas, and this influence results from the ties between Fatah and Hamas. In the presence of Fatah in Tehran, we say to Hamas that it cannot change its positions in such a manner. Hamas people are under Israeli bombardment, and they undoubtedly understand the significance of the bombing in Yemen.’ He said: ‘They must not cooperate with Syria for financial reasons.’
The Security and Foreign Policy Committee member added to the paper: ‘The meeting of Mahmoud Abbas with the Iranian officials will be a positive matter, which is likely to cause Tehran to take Hamas’ positions into consideration.’ At the same time, he denied that this means enmity with Hamas, and said: ‘We expect more from some of the Hamas leaders, and want them to avoid taking positions opposed to Iran’s positions in Syria and Yemen.’
Ahmad Bakhshayesh emphasized: ‘When Hamas was at war with Israel, no Arab country offered it assistance. Iran was the only one that offered assistance to Hamas. Therefore, we expect it not to take positions opposed to Iran’s [position] in Syria and Yemen.’”

Ansar Allah, popularly known as the Houthis - a Zaidi (early sect of Shi'a Islam) group from Yemen currently (2015) in open conflict with the government of Republic of Yemen. They took over the Yemeni government in 2014–15 and, as of Aug. 13, 2015, retained control of Yemen's capital, Sana'a, and the parliament. They also gained control of a significant part of Yemen’s territory.

RelatedView all ❯