The renewed relationship between Iran and Hamas has been simmering below the media's radar for months, Walla! News reports Tuesday.
According to the daily, the Al-Hayat newspaper revealed Tuesday morning that Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Meshaal met with Iranian Revolutionary Crescent Guards commander Qasem Solemeini, in Turkey – just days after the end of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza over the summer.
There, the two leaders reportedly reached a consensus on several issues, including Iran's military and economic support for Hamas after over a year of hiatus; the possibility of Meshaal visiting Solemeini in Tehran; and other conditions for resuming diplomatic relations.
Both Iran and Hamas have agreed not to speak publicly about their stances on the Syrian Civil War, but Hamas reportedly agreed to support Syrian President Bashar Assad, as Iran has quietly throughout the conflict.
Several weeks later, the report states, a high-ranking delegation of Hamas officials visited Tehran, headed by Mohammed Nasser. The visit marks an apparent turning point in relations; however, an official announcement was kept quiet, as repeated requests from Hamas to open offices in a Hezbollah-controlled area of Beirut were rejected.
Israel is closely following the talks between Hamas and Iran, senior security officials revealed to Walla! – as Tehran has been clandestinely supplying Hamas with arms and financial support in recent weeks.
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 in recent months. 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.
Following the Hamas’s delegation visit to Tehran, some Palestinian media outlets had reported that Saudi Arabia had called certain Hamas officials to voice its displeasure with the visit. Hamas officials, however, subsequently denied the reports, according to Turkish media outlets.