The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday that the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, will lead a delegation from the terror group to Tehran later this week, seeking greater support from the Iranian regime. The move is described as the beginning of an effort to transfer Hamas’s leadership-in-exile from Qatar to Iran, after the Arab League supported a regional peace effort. Hamas was previously headquartered in Damascus before the Syrian civil war.
Iran has long provided support to Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip, including longer-range rockets than the locally-manufactured Qassams. The Hamas visit may be considered a test of Iran’s supposedly more “moderate” turn after the election of Hassan Rouhani as president earlier this year. A strengthening Iran-Hamas alliance could strengthen Israeli resolve to confront the Iranian nuclear program–alone if necessary.