Iran promises Hamas USD 250 million

By Roee Nahmias

0/28/06 "Ynetnews."
-- -- The London-based Arabic-language newspaper el-Hayat reported Tuesday that Tehran promised Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal it would transfer USD 250 million to the Palestinian Authority as compensation for the freezing of American aid to the Palestinians.

In an interview with el-Hayat published on Monday, Mashaal confirmed that Iran and other Arab and Muslim states would support a Hamas-led Palestinian government.

“The Iranian leadership announced that it will support the new Palestinian government and people,” he said.

“This was the viewpoint heard during my visit to Tehran in response the American threats and pressures. Other Arab and Islamic countries have committed to supporting the new government.”

Meanwhile, Hamas members have expressed their satisfaction with the EU’s decision to transfer some 120 million euros to the Palestinians, regarding the move as “coming to terms with the (Palestinian) election results.”

'Hamas will uphold its principles'

Senior Hamas leader Khalil Abu Laila defined the decision “logical,” adding that the organization views Europe’s decision as part of a situation assessment carried out in response to “the big and unexpected surprise that shocked the entire world.”

In an interview with London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat Abu Laila said, “Europe understands that it would not be wise to discontinue the aid, since nothing has occurred that garners such a move.”

Hamas leader clarified that the group is willing to hold talks with any European factor, adding that “if the Europeans want to see things objectively and rationally, they must maintain ties with the government that will be formed by Ismail Haniyeh.”

Abu Laila said he was pleased with the fact that Europe reversed its stance as expressed by EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana regarding the freezing of funds “without Hamas having to make any concessions or yield to pressures.”

“Hamas will continue to uphold its principles even if the aid will be stopped,” he added.

Meanwhile, Palestinian sources have confirmed that a Hamas delegation will leave for Moscow on Friday, where it will meet with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

It is not yet clear whether President Vladimir Putin will meet with the Hamas leaders.

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