Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jan. 03 – A senior Iranian official on Saturday met with the head of the militant Islamist Palestinian group Hamas as the group’s standoff with Israel entered into its second week.
Tehran, Iran, Jan. 03 – A senior Iranian official on Saturday met with the head of the militant Islamist Palestinian group Hamas as the group’s standoff with Israel entered into its second week.
Saeed Jalili, Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, met in Damascus with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, the government-run news agency Fars reported.
Jalili blasted Arab countries which “encouraged the Zionist regime [Israel] to attack” through their “silence”.
Jalili met separately with Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shallah, the head of the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in Damascus. Shahllah is on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted list with a $5 million bounty for information leading to his arrest.
“With its latest crimes in Gaza, the Zionist regime has come one step closer to annihilation”, Jalili told Shallah, according to Fars.
U.S. President George W. Bush in his weekly radio addressed blamed Hamas for the violence in Gaza and southern Israel, after a week of Israeli air strikes and Hamas rocket attacks.
Earlier this week, the main Iranian resistance coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, urged the international community to condemn Tehran’s “warmongering and fundamentalist meddling in Palestine”.
“The Iranian Resistance strongly condemns Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip and the killing of innocent civilians, in particular women and children”, it said, adding, “The mullahs’ ruling Iran are benefiting the most from this conflict and the crisis brewing in the region”.
“Facing fierce resentment and isolation at home, the mullahs’ regime believes that it can prolong its existence by exporting terror and fundamentalism abroad and taking advantage of the situation in Palestine and dominating the region”, the NCRI said.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday left for New York where he plans to seek United Nations support to end the standoff.