Iran's financial assistance to Hamas has stopped completely, a senior Hamas official stated Monday night.
"All assistance has stopped – both civilian aid to the Gaza Strip and military assistance to Hamas," Hamas politiburo chief Moussa Abu Marzouk admitted in an Al Jazeera interview. "It's difficult for us to deal with."
Iran had provided a great deal of assistance to the terror group, Abu Marzouk said; and while relations between the Islamic Republic and Gaza are not as good as they have been in the recent past, the group is redoubling efforts to strengthen ties with Tehran.
"Hamas was torn between wanting to get close to Saudi Arabia and keep a good relationship with Qatar, or come close to Iran," a senior security source told Walla! News. The big money from Iran will push that decision, without a doubt."
When Hamas gets "big money," it will be reflected in further tensions along the Gaza border, the security source predicted – and ominously noted the fact that Iran is due to get billions of dollars due to the Iranian nuclear deal.
Iran was once a stronger supporter of Hamas, but the two have been at odds over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. As a result of Hamas’ refusal to support Assad in the uprising, an angry Iran reportedly stopped supplying the terror group with weapons.
Nevertheless, the two sides have been getting closer over the past year. The speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, recently boasted that Iran provided Hamas with the technology it has used to rain down rockets on Israel from Gaza, and Hamas later thanked Iran for providing the group with the rockets.
The Al-Hayat newspaper revealed several months ago that Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Meshaal met with Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Solemeini, in Turkey, just days after the end of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza over the summer.
That relationship may be at risk, however, as Hamas and Saudi Arabia reunite to battle Islamic State (ISIS) within their borders – and as Iran and Saudi Arabia continue to battle over a proxy war in Yemen. A Saudi Arabian-led alliance began launching airstrikes on the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on March 26 of this year.
And just last week, a Hamas official accused Iran of "inciting" against them via a false report that the group is sending terrorists to fight on Iran's side in Yemen.