Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said the relations between the Palestinian resistance movement and Iran will soon witness a remarkable expansion.
“The Hamas movement and Iran have taken special measures and we will see many changes in these relations soon,” Al-Zahar said without elaborating any further.
Al-Zahar’s remarks came two days after Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani told Al-Mayadeen satellite television channel that Iran-Hamas relations have returned to its previous normal conditions.
The Hamas official pointed to Larijani’s statements on Hamas, and said, “This stance was predictable and expectable from the Islamic Republic of Iran, and said, “It has not surprised Hamas.”
Al-Zahar pointed to the western and Israeli media reports alleging that Israel has intercepted a shipload of Iranian mid-range missiles destined for the Gaza Strip, and said, “The main goal of this scenario is creating a rift between Iran and the Palestinian resistance movement and exerting excessive pressure on the Hamas movement.“
He underlined that Israel is behind this scenario, adding that the Israeli lie would not yield any fruit for the Tel Aviv regime.
Some western and Israeli media outlets claimed a few days ago that Israel’s naval forces have intercepted an Iranian vessel carrying medium-range missiles in the Red Sea. They further claimed that the shipment was headed for the Gaza Strip via Sudan.
Both Iranian and Palestinian officials have strongly rejected the claim.
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri dismissed as a media hype for propaganda the western and Israeli news reports alleging that Israel has intercepted a shipload of Iranian mid-range missiles destined for the Gaza Strip.
“The Americans and the Zionists have probably ordered to Hollywood the production of a movie with the scenario of a cargo ship carrying Iranian weapons to Gaza in Palestine,” General Jazzayeri said in Tehran on Sunday.
The military official underlined that false claims by the US and Israel will by no means influence the Iranians’ strong will and determination to gain their inalienable rights in different areas. “Their fake and repetitious media products as well as psychological operations will have no achievement other than defeat, humiliation and deepening the Iranian nation and even the world people’s mistrust of them.”
He further described the Israeli-American claim – as both have acknowledged the seizure as a coordinated joint operation – as part of their “Iranophobia scenario staged through smear campaign as well as chronic fabrications which are common in the culture of liberal democracy and western-Hebrew propaganda”.
“The westerners should seriously reconsider their warmongering policies against the freedom-seeking nations and the oppressed people of Palestine and also put aside their terrorist and inhumane acts,” General Jazzayeri said.
In relevant remarks on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham strongly rejected the same allegations, and said this allegation is not true and in principle the passage or movement of a ship carrying weapons from Iran to Gaza is not true.
“The claims and extensive anti-Iran propaganda were made while the Zionist regime’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington to attend the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC),” the Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
Also, Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Palestinian officials as saying that the operation raises questions regarding the timing of the operation.
“The ship has been sailing for weeks and it is seized exactly when Netanyahu is in Washington,” the official said according to the Israeli paper, and added, “The entire operation and the reports raise many questions regarding the timing and whether the event was real or fabricated.”
Israel is unhappy with Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers and has sought hard to ruin the agreement through meetings with senior western officials and also through its powerful lobby groups in Washington.
To the same end Tel Aviv has tried to include the issue of Iran’s ballistic missile technology in the agenda of the talks between Iran and the world powers, an issue which has been strongly opposed by Iran.
After the latest round of successful talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 powers in Vienna late last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the media that Tehran and the sextet have promised not to surprise each other by raising new agendas in their future talks.