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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hamas may move from Damascus to Tehran

While Syria has been claiming it's business as usual among itself, its Iranian patrons and its 'Palestinian' clients, both Hamas and Iran have expressed displeasure over Syria's 'negotiations' with Israel. On Saturday, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal was in Tehran, where he did not hide his fears for his organization's future in Damascus. In fact, he asked Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki if Hamas could find a new home in his country.
Hamas leaders in Syria were "extremely disturbed" when they heard about the Israeli-Syrian negotiations and told The Jerusalem Post that its movement's leaders in Damascus were even considering the possibility of moving to Teheran in protest of what they believe is a change in Syria's strategy.

However, Hamas leaders and spokesmen have thus far been careful not to publicly criticize the Syrians over the resumption of the peace talks with Israel and are now considering their response to the dramatic announcement about the resumption of talks between Israel and Syria.

"Hamas is unhappy with the latest developments on the Israeli-Syrian track," said a Hamas official in the Gaza Strip. "We believe that President Bashar Assad is making a grave mistake by not coordinating his moves with the rest of the Arab and Islamic world."

The Hamas official said the movement's leaders were convinced that they and leaders of other radical Palestinian factions in Damascus would be the first to pay the price for a peace treaty between Israel and Syria.

"Israel and the US have long been trying to isolate Syria from the rest of the Arabs and Muslims," he said. "The first thing the Israelis and Americans will do is ask the Syrians to expel the various Palestinian organizations from Syria."
No kidding! Then again, does anyone else really believe Syria will do that?
Another top Hamas representative in the Gaza Strip told the Post that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who is currently visiting Teheran, was very concerned about the future of his movement in Syria.

According to the official, Mashaal, who met Saturday with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, raised during his visit the possibility of moving the Hamas leadership from Damascus to Teheran in the wake of the renewed talks between Syria and Israel.

"There is a high possibility that the Iranians would agree to host Mashaal and leaders of other Palestinian factions based in Damascus," he said. "This was one of the issues that Mashaal discussed with the Iranians." The Iranians are also reported to be angry with Assad.
Yes, indeed they are angry with Assad - that was reported on Friday.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed surprise and displeasure at Syria's "violation of its commitment to Iran" by holding talks with Israel, the London-based pan-Arabic daily Asharq alawsat reported Friday.

According to the newspaper, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem updated Ahmadinejad during a visit to Teheran some weeks ago on the status of his nation's secret diplomatic contacts with Israel. [So the Iranians knew all along. CiJ]

The report also said that Iran's Supreme National Security Council would examine a message from Syria about the talks with Israel in order to decide on an "appropriate response."

Meanwhile, the editor of one of Iran's reformist newspapers said that the council had instructed Iranian media outlets, including Internet sites, to "ignore" the topic of the Syria-Israel talks.
But the funniest part of all this is a statement that Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki made during yesterday's press conference with Meshaal:
Following his talks with Mashaal, the Iranian foreign minister also refrained from openly condemning Syria. However, the minister expressed his country's full support for the Palestinian "resistance" and the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.

He was also quoted as saying that "the Golan belongs to Syria and should return to it."

Mottaki added that Iran believes that under the circumstances, Israel is not in a position to be dictating preconditions to Syria. "Despite the past 60 years, during which the Zionist regime has been attempting to increase its occupied land, at the current time it has no choice but to evacuate it."
Hey Mottaki, who won the war anyway? Winners dictate terms, not losers.

But no, I don't believe this is leading anywhere. The Syrians don't want peace. They want American money and Israeli land (and not necessarily in that order).


At 8:19 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Syria wants to break the American boycott and Sonny Assad is smart to figure out the shortest route to that is through Israel. If Mahmoud Ahmedinejad can ever get beyond his anti-Semitism, Teheran may be calling Jerusalem too, to get to the American address. Its not about suddenly falling in love with the Jewish State over there.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The other thing one should take note of is that Hamas is for all practical extents and purposes, a client of Iran. So how do Israel's leaders feel about Iran having proxies on both its nothern and southern borders? Its not exactly earth-shaking news.


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