EXCLUSIVE – Hamas Strongman Visits Beirut To Meet Hezbollah, Iranian Officials Over Upgrade Deal

Tammam Salam
The Associated Press

TEL AVIV – Top Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk met with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam (pictured above) and other officials in Beirut on Wednesday, Hamas announced in an online statement.

As initially reported by Breitbart Jerusalem, Marzouk was invited by Hezbollah leaders to pursue talks about the future of his organization’s relationship with Iran.

Breitbart Jerusalem also reported earlier this month that Hamas turned down Iran’s offer to be recognized as the sole representative of the Palestinian people in exchange for a clear condemnation of Saudi Arabia.

Wednesday’s statement released by Hamas about Marzouk’s meeting with Salam failed to mention his meetings with Hezbollah officials, perhaps in a bid to avoid a Saudi rebuke.

A Hamas official confirmed to Breitbart Jerusalem that the meetings with Hezbollah took place Thursday and Friday.

He emphasized, “Hamas is happy to maintain good relations with Iran, so long as it doesn’t come at the expense of any other country.”

Last month, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that Iran offered to upgrade bilateral ties with Hamas in exchange for a clear anti-Saudi stance. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO have firmly allied themselves with Riyadh in its ongoing feud with Tehran.

After much deliberation, Hamas decided to turn down Iran’s offer. However, as Breitbart Jerusalem reported, Iran did not give up and invited Marzouk, via Hezbollah channels, to negotiate further.

Contacted by Breitbart Jerusalem, Hamas official Husam Badran declined to comment on the report.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.