Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hosted a delegation of members from the Palestinian terror group Hamas Monday in Tehran.
The Hamas delegation also attended the swearing-in ceremony of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was re-elected in May, the day before the official meeting with Zarif.
During the meeting, the Iranian foreign minister reportedly stated that Tehran’s support for the Palestinian terror organization is “principled and unchangeable.”
“The visit has opened a new page in our bilateral relations with Iran aimed at confronting the common enemy (Israel) and supporting Palestine, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the resistance [against Israel],” Hamas said in a statement.
Warmer relations between Iran and Hamas come as the terror group faces increasing international isolation and a dispute with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
For years, Iran served as one of Hamas’s main patrons, providing the terror group with financing, training and weapons to attack Israel. When protests broke out against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2011, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal voiced support for Syrian demonstrators. Mashaal eventually closed the terror group’s office in Damascus, relocating to Qatar. As a result, Iran, a strong supporter of the Syrian regime, had cut off its funding to Hamas.