Hamas team in Iran for talks on ties

AFP , Monday 8 Dec 2014

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal (Photo: Reuters)

A delegation of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which controls Gaza arrived Monday for talks with Iranian officials on repairing ties, local media reported.

Tasnim news agency said the team was led by Hamas political bureau member Mohammed Nasr and included Ossama Hamdan, who is in charge of international relations.

The visit is aimed at clearing the way for a mission by Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, Amir Mousavi, the head of Tehran's Centre of Strategic Research, said on the website of Hamas-linked Palestinian daily Al-Ressalah.

The Syrian conflict has strained ties between Hamas and Iran, with the Palestinian faction breaking ties with Damascus while Tehran has remained a strong ally of the regime.

Meshaal, in an interview with AFP in August, acknowledged differences over Syria but said their common enmity against Israel was a uniting factor.

Iran is reported to provide equipment for Palestinian fighters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, a smaller militant group in Gaza, to fire missiles at the Jewish state.

Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, during a visit to Tehran in October, praised Iran for its role during the Gaza conflict.

The 50-day war between Israel and militants in Gaza that ended on August 26 killed about 2,200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

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