Bemused as some of us may have been about the sudden openness of Iran to nuclear negotiations and dialogue, don’t book your ticket to the Yazd Weaving Festival just yet. As we’re learning today, while Iran might be feinting flexibility on its weapons program meant to pose an existential threat to Israel, it is also reportedly renewing financial ties with Hamas, which remains committed to Israel’s destruction.
Iranian officials have been holding regular meetings with Hamas, the report said, noting that the Islamic extremist group that rules Gaza plays a crucial role in coordinating between Islamist movements in the Arab world and the regime in Tehran.
Last week, Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar declared that his movement had formed a joint command with Islamic Jihad, a more radical Islamist movement in Gaza and a close ally of the Iranian regime.
Now, you might be thinking…Wait, didn’t Hamas and Iran break up because Hamas couldn’t abide the mass killing of Sunnis in Syria by Iranian ally Bashar al-Assad? Yes. Hamas even moved its headquarters out of Damascus earlier this year.
You might also be wondering: Hasn’t it only gotten worse with the use of chemical weapons? Yes.
So why… Don’t ask me, ask the O’Jays.
What happened? Well, poor Hamas now broke and isolated following the deposing of its ally Mohamed Morsi in Egypt has been trying to find new friends. They failed to reconcile with the new powers in Egypt, which have been imposing a blockade against it. (Can’t wait for that flotilla to launch.)
In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority is tap-dancing about their isolation and isn’t about to help. Others yet believe that Hamas will grow desperate and attack Israel. Having exhausted all other options, they’ve gone back to Iran, which may have hurt them before, but sometimes there’s just that special someone you just can’t quit.