Certain Palestinian groups have long enjoyed a disturbingly close relationship with Iran, as the Islamic Republic has provided weapons and more to groups like Hamas. But the Palestinian Authority, currently led by President Mahmoud Abbas, has not been so close. But that may be changing.
Abbas announced on Sunday plans to visit Iran at an unspecified date and went so far as to call the state sponsor of multiple terror groups “a sister and neighbor state,” according to the Ma’an News Agency. The report said that comes in addition to discussions between the Palestinians with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif about having an Iranian Ambassador to “Palestine”.
A powerful body in the Palestinian political system is the Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee, and committee member Ahmad Majdalani believes the Palestinian “relationship” with Iran is an “urgent necessity concerning international and regional developments” following the Iranian nuclear deal with the major world powers.
The supposedly-moderate Palestinian groups’ outreach to Iran isn’t the only result of the nuclear deal. The UK re-opened their embassy in Iran on Sunday. However, the Palestinians’ biggest donor—the US—isn’t taking that approach just yet according to comments released by the State Department.
Said US spokesman John Kirby about the British re-opening their embassy in Iran, “We have no intention to do that, and what we want to see out of Iran is actions, the appropriate actions to prove that they are going to meet their end of this deal before they get a penny of sanctions relief.”
While noting that the embassy matter is the decision of a sovereign nation the US has to respect, Kirby also said of their approach to Iran, “We’re also not losing sight of the other activities that they continue to be capable of in the region, including state sponsorship of terrorism. And we have tools at our disposal, be they diplomatic, economic, or military, to deal with those.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 24, 2015)