Hamas Visit Right Step to Rectify Past Mistakes

Hamas Visit Right Step to Rectify Past MistakesHamas Visit Right Step to Rectify Past Mistakes

A lawmaker said last week's visit by a Hamas delegation to Tehran indicates that the resistance group is trying to correct its previous regional stances which were at odds with those of Iran.

"The high-ranking Hamas delegation's visit is in fact a backpedaling of previous regional stances of the group," Amir Khojasteh told ICANA in a recent talk.

A senior Hamas delegation headed by its deputy chief, Saleh al-Arouri, arrived in Tehran on Friday to meet with Iranian officials.

The trip followed another visit by a Hamas delegation which traveled to Tehran in August to attend the swearing-in ceremony of reelected President Hassan Rouhani.

These visits came after a period of frosty relations between the two sides due to the differences on the Syrian issue where the two sides have supported opposing forces in the devastating six-year war, with Iran backing President Bashar al-Assad's government and Hamas supporting forces trying to oust him.

Khojasteh said Hamas has now realized the paramount status of the Islamic Republic in the region as well as the reality of the situation there.

In the same vein, lawmaker Mohammad Javad Jamali said Hamas now knows that Iran is "a key player" in regional issues.

Iran was instrumental in changing the course of the war in favor of the Syrian government and quelling a violent rebellion featuring the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, among other militant groups.

Many countries, including Europeans, have now softened their earlier positions regarding the Syrian government and have stopped calling for its president to step down. Jamali said Hamas' position regarding Syria was influenced by elements favoring compromise with Israel that had previously infiltrated the Palestinian Fatah faction.

Hamas fell into the orbit of countries like Qatar and Egypt after distancing itself from its "true supporter" Iran, he said, adding that it has now found itself in a state of affairs where it has to follow whatever it is told by Egyptian intelligence services, he said.

"We hope that Hamas does not follow the path of the Fatah movement, which negotiated with Israel and gradually deviated from its righteous path," Jamali said.

Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement on Oct. 14 on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo.

Under the agreement, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by Dec. 1, according to a statement from Egypt's intelligence agency, which oversaw the talks.

The United States has said any joint government must recognize Israel and disarm Hamas, but the group has roundly rejected the conditions.

"No one in the universe can disarm us. On the contrary, we will continue to have the power to protect our citizens," Hamas Gaza head Yahya Sinwar said.

In his meeting with Iranian officials, Arouri hailed Iran for its significant support for the Palestinian nation, saying the Hamas leaders are determined to promote cooperation with Iran.


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