Iran, Hamas bond over Syria talks


Iran reportedly pledged to step up its support for Hamas if Syria makes peace with Israel.

Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas supreme leader based in Damascus, made a surprise visit to Tehran over the weekend following the announcement of Israeli-Syrian peace talks.

According to the London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Meshaal was told by his Iranian hosts that they would increase support for the radical Islamist Palestinian faction and its Gaza fiefdom if Syria establishes ties with Israel.

A peace deal between Damascus and Jerusalem would almost certainly force Syrian President Bashar Assad to scale back support for Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups now headquartered in his capital. Israel also wants Syria to shun Lebanese Hezbollah and review its ties with Iran.

While in Tehran, Meshaal also received a boost in Iranian funding for Hamas, Asharq al-Awsat reported Sunday.

Meshaal told reporters that he believed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is too weak to clinch a peace deal with Syria or with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas’ rival.

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