An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman was not too bashful to admit that Iran is a proud sponsor of terrorism against Israel, dismissing claims that Iran ceased support of Hamas in 2009.
Hossein Jaberi Ansari’s assertion came in response to a report in late January that a high-ranking Hamas official was heard recently criticizing Iran during a phone call, claiming Hamas had not received support from Iran in the better part of a decade.
Said Ansari, affirming the Islamic republic’s support for the Palestinian terrorist group:
Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution (in 1979), the Islamic Republic of Iran has declared that supporting the Palestinian nation and the Palestinian Resistance Movement is among its fixed policies and has continuously taken some measures on this path.
The U.S. State Department lists Hamas as a terrorist organization. The group originally formed in 1987 during the first Palestinian intifada (or “uprising”) and is a derivative of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Its goal is to establish an Islamic Palestinian state over all of Israel, and it therefore does not abide by or accept any agreements made between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
Kalil Abu Leila, a senior Hamas leader, rejected any notion that Iran was no longer supporting Hamas in an interview with Iran’s Tasnim News. “We appreciate Iran for the support it has provided for the resistance,” he said in response to the allegation.
Iran itself is a listed state sponsor of terrorism and has long been accused of supporting terrorist groups across the the Middle East, including Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which are considered Israeli enemies.
Israel and Hamas most recently engaged in conflict in the summer of 2014, when Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted Operation Protective Edge in response to continued Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians emanating from the Hamas-held Gaza strip. Around 2,100 Palestinians, 66 IDF forces and seven Israeli civilians died in the conflict.
This report, by Russ Read, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.