Friday , 19 July 2024

Hamas Leader To Travel To Tehran For Meetings With Iranian Officials

RFL/RE – The political bureau chief of the U.S.- and EU-designated terrorist group Hamas is slated to visit Tehran on March 26 for high-level meetings with Iranian officials, according to local media.

The official IRNA news agency said Ismail Haniyeh, who is based on Qatar, was scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, among a slew of other officials.

The trip comes a day after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Iranian media cited unnamed political pundits as saying that Haniyeh’s visit coming after the resolution was “significant.”

The United States abstained from the March 25 vote, which upset Israel and prompted it to abruptly cancel the visit of a high-level delegation to Washington this week.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani welcomed the adoption of the resolution but said it was “not enough.” He called for “effective measures to implement” the resolution and urged a “complete and permanent cessation” of Israeli attacks against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Israel launched its deadly offensive after Hamas militants attacked Israeli towns on October 7, taking around 250 hostages and killing more than 1,100 people.

Haniyeh’s trip will mark his second visit to Tehran since the start of the war. His last visit came in early November, when he met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The trip was reported only after Hanyieh met Iranian officials.

Iran is a staunch supporter of Hamas and has praised the October 7 attack, but has insisted that it was not involved in its planning and execution.

Hamas is a member of the so-called axis of resistance, a network of Iran’s allies and proxies in the region. Some members of the network, particularly Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Syria, have launched attacks on Israel and targeted U.S. troops in the region since the start of the war. Iran maintains that the groups operate independently and rejects the proxy label.

With reporting by Reuters