Hamas and military branch officials meet with Iranian counterparts; Meetings centered on ongoing cooperation and opposing “Zionist” occupation; Kushner, Greenblatt, Hook to visit the region in the coming days to push “Deal of the Century.” 

A Hamas delegation met with Iranian officials in Tehran on Sunday in a high profile meeting centered on cooperation, resisting the “occupation” and the “policies of the enemies of Islam.” Iranian officials, including the chairman of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Kamal Kharrazi, centered their talks on “issues related to Holy [al] Quds, Gaza and the resistance of the Gazans and conveying the Palestinian cause to next generations” according to local media, using rhetoric and the guise of religion to attack Israel. Kharrazi was quoted to have stated, “Policies of the enemies of Islam and Palestine in supporting occupant Israel are obvious. The Palestinians are aware of these policies and have concluded that they should stand against the foreigners’ plots.”

The Hamas delegation was led by the terrorist organization’s deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri and high ranking officials from Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Ahead of the meeting in Tehran, Bahrain directly addressed Iran’s funding of Hamas as a hindrance to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Speaking at an event in Washington on Saturday, its foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, declared, “If it wasn’t for Iran being present- Iranian soldiers, Iranian money, Iranian support for Hamas and jihadis that take control of Gaza- we would have been much closer to achieving a better peace between the Palestinians and Israelis and we would have a better chance.”

His remarks come as President Trump’s special advisor to the Middle East, Jared Kushner, is set to visit the Middle East in the coming days. As with the majority of his visits, he will attend meetings alongside special envoy to the region Jason Greenblatt and Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook. Their tour will focus on the political aspects of the “Deal of the Century” as well as on the economic side of the plan, which was proposed in Bahrain in June. They will visit Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel.