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Top Hamas official visits Tehran

A senior Hamas figure in Gaza, Mahmud Zahar, is visiting Tehran for meetings with top Iranian officials.

Tehran: A senior Hamas figure in Gaza,
Mahmud Zahar, is visiting Tehran for meetings with top Iranian
officials, media reported on Thursday.

Zahar`s trip was taking place shortly after Gaza
militants and Israel agreed a fragile truce that ended four
days of deadly cross-border violence.

Zahar, who serves as Hamas` foreign minister, met the
head of Iran`s supreme national security council, Saeed
Jalili, and the leader of Iran`s parliament, Ali Larijani,
late yesterday, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Jalili reiterated Iran`s unwavering support for the
Palestinian cause, and cautioned Zahar against "plots" seeking
to divide the Palestinian resistance, the report said.

Zahar was quoted as saying that "the principles and
strategy of the Palestinian Islamic resistance will not

Zahar`s visit to Tehran followed one by Hamas leader
Ismail Haniyeh last month, who on February 11 shared the
podium with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to
commemorate the anniversary of Iran`s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Israel and the United States consider Hamas to be an
armed proxy of Iran able to strike Israel with
Iranian-supplied rockets should the Islamic republic be
threatened militarily.

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday branded Gaza
an "advance post for Iran," which he explicitly accused of
arming, financing and training militants in the Palestinian

However Ahmed Yussef, a counsellor to the Hamas foreign
ministry, earlier this month told AFP that "Iran does not need
Hamas to respond to Israel in the event of an attack, because
it has enormous military capabilities at its disposal, which
allow it to act without us." (AFP)


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