The Palestinian Authority accused Iran of fomenting the Hamas seizure of the Gaza Strip.
“We hold Iran responsible for encouraging Hamas to carry out its coup in Gaza,” Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said Monday.
Iran and Hamas denied the charge. But Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucheher Mottaki also condemned Abbas for firing Hamas from the Palestinian Authority government and forming an emergency Cabinet that excludes the Islamist group.
Hamas turned to Iran for financial support after its election last year, which prompted a Western aid embargo on the Palestinian Authority. Israeli officials said Hamas’s armed wing has also received training and arms from Iran, which sees Gaza, like Lebanon, as a front line in the battle against the Jewish state.