Here’s a recipe for Middle East conflict: Take one terrorist-sponsoring dictatorship with money and hate to burn, add a local terror group, add water and mix well. Ok, so the water isn’t necessary. But Hamas—Israel’s most antagonistic terror enemy in the last 20 years—is looking for deeper ties with Iran after Hassan Rouhani was elected president there. And their mutual hate of Israel is key motivation.
“For sure we hope that the Iranian support will continue especially that Hamas encourages Iran against Israel,” senior Hamas party leader Ahmad Yousef told the Ma’an News Agency. Iran has been a financial supporter of Hamas in the past, and Ma’an reported that Yousef hopes the relationship will only get better under Rouhani.
Relations between Hamas and Iran cooled because of disagreement over the Syrian civil war. Hamas opposes the Syrian regime, while Iran has been a key backer of the Syrian authorities. But new leadership provides Hamas with a chance to restore their ties with Iran.
Ma’an quoted Yousef called new Iranian President Rouhani a “supporter of the Palestinian cause and Hamas.”
Hamas is an internationally recognized terrorist organization that has fired thousands of rockets at Israel and sponsored suicide bombings and other attacks. Since taking power in Gaza, Hamas has fought Israel in two different mini-wars.
Ironically, the West hopes Rouhani, described by some as a “moderate,” will improve relations with them. Considering extremists such as Hamas also see Rouhani as a potential ally raises serious questions about Iran’s future.
A more moderate and open Iran could improve regional stability—read: more stable oil markets and lower gas prices—as well as reduce terrorism around the world. However, there is also the risk that Iran’s new president could provide a “moderate” smokescreen to reduce international pressure on the Iranian regime even as they continue to make major trouble internationally.
Iran has become a leading sponsor of global terrorism, supporting plots in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and even the United States. They are also suspected of working towards nuclear weapons.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, June 17, 2013)