Iran has stopped funding the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, according to a senior Hamas official. Financial aid from Iran has “greatly helped the resistance in Palestine; without this assistance it will be hard for us to cope,” Hamas’s Moussa Abu Marzouk told Al Jazeera, The Times of Israel reports.
“The relations between Hamas and Iran are not advancing in a direction in which the organization (Hamas) is interested and aren’t improving to the degree the organization wants in order to help the Palestinian issue,” added the senior Hamas official.
He pointed out that Iran had provided both financial and military aid for the government and families in the Gaza Strip. Islamist group Hamas has vowed to destroy Israel. It took control of Gaza in 2007.
“Abu Marzouk’s remarks came on the heels of a visit by senior Hamas officials to Riyadh in what has been deemed indicative of a shift in allegiance from Shiite Iran, which has provided it with arms and money in recent years, to Sunni Saudi Arabia,” The Times of Israel notes.
“Hamas’s assertion that Iran’s funding has largely ceased runs contrary to statements by the Islamic Republic that, notwithstanding the nuclear agreement with the US and world powers, it will continue to support its allies in Palestine and elsewhere,” it adds. “Reports from Gaza in recent days had suggested an increase in Iranian funding in the wake of the nuclear deal, under which sanctions are to be lifted and Iran’s economy is set to dramatically strengthen.”
Critics of the nuclear deal reached between Iran and U.S.-led world powers have warned that once the economic sanctions on Iran are lifted, the Islamic Republic will be able to use the billions of dollars in frozen assets to fund terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
Both Hezbollah and Hamas have been designated by the United States as foreign terrorist organizations.