Palestinian Authority Sides with Saudis over Iran


Bassem al-Agha, the Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, reiterated his governing body’s support for Riyadh in the latest diplomatic flareup between the Saudis and the regime in Iran.

Iran, known to support Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, has turned its back on the Palestinian Authority, Al-Agha alleged.

“The Iranian government doesn’t support the Palestinian Authority, which is at the forefront of confronting the Israeli enemy,” he told Asharq al-Awsat. “The Palestinians have suffered from Iran’s actions and strange behaviors, which aim to undermine the legitimate Palestinian powers and to create ‘conglomerates’ against these legitimate powers.”

Iran continues to support Hamas, a rival party of the Palestinian Authority, even following the Iran nuclear deal, which was supposed to help curb the regime’s regional ambition and expansion. In the months following the nuclear deal, Iran has continued to aid Hamas military officials on the ground in Gaza, according to reports.

“They have not built any schools for Palestinian children nor have they provided medical services for Palestinians,” he said about Iran. Instead, Tehran issues fatwas against the PA, which he called the “legitimate Palestinian government.”

Though sometimes perceived as a ‘moderate’ governing entity, the Palestinian Authority continues to publicly encourage the murder of innocent Israeli Jews and provides financial compensation for the families of suicide terrorists.

Al-Agha’s Palestinian Authority is far from the only body that has expressed support for Riyadh over Tehran.

Twelve countries have either cut ties with Iran or condemned the regime since rioters in Tehran ransacked and looted the Saudi diplomatic buildings there, following the execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. On Thursday, Comoros and Somalia became the latest nations to condemn the Iranian regime.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has sought to restore ties between Riyadh and Tehran, pledging to charge at least 50 suspects accused of raiding the Saudi embassy in Tehran. “Once and for all such assaults on the country’s security, an insult to the establishment’s authority and position, should be prevented by punishing perpetrators and those who ordered this blatant crime,” he said in a letter to the judiciary.