Iran slashes Hamas funding over Syria clash

Hamas and Iran may be drifting apart as the Gaza-based terror outfit continues its support for opposition movements in Syria

by The Commentator on 4 June 2013 00:08

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Reports suggest that Iran has 'significantly' reduced its financial support for the Gaza-based terrorist outfit Hamas following the latter's support for opposition groups in Syria's internal conflict.

A senior Hamas representative told the Ma'an News Agency that Iran has never threatened to completely stop financial support to Hamas, but said there has been a serious reduction in funds due to the group's stance on Syria's ongoing conflict.

Ahmed Yousif said that Hamas's offices in Iran and Lebanon are still open, highlighting that Hamas decided to leave Syria to show "support to the Syrian people against tyranny and oppression."

The Hamas official dismissed media reports that Hezbollah and Iran had warned officials to leave their respective countries if the group didn't change its position on Syria.

Yousif said that Hamas would not yield to pressure from Iran but would not reject its support. "We will not accept to bargain for our positions," he added.

Hamas has other sources of finances and is not worried by a reduction in Iranian aid, Yousif said.

Ghazi Hamad, Hamas's deputy foreign minister, described relations with Iran frankly as "bad" before adding: "Diplomatically, I have to use other words."

Asked about Iranian funding, he said: "I can say it is not like the past. I cannot give you the exact amount. For supporting the Syrian revolution, we lost very much.

After years of alignment with Damascus, during which he used Damascus as a base, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal relocated in 2012 to Doha, severing ties with Bashar Assad and declaring his support for the revolt against the Syrian president's regime.

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