Gaza political circles have been wondering whether Hamas would return to the Iran axis after a break that lasted more than two years. On March 10, leading Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Zahar, the last link between Hamas and Iran, announced steps to restore the bilateral relationship.
Al-Monitor has learned from a source close to Hamas’ political leadership that Iran is also planning to receive Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal soon, after a long tug of war marked by undisclosed shuttle discussions. The source said that Qatar was mediating with Iran to restore ties with Hamas. In late February, Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiyah visited Tehran for that purpose.
The source added that last week, Iran gave the green light for Meshaal’s visit after contacts between Zahar and Marwan Issa, a senior leader in the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing. This long overdue visit will culminate in Meshaal meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
In his meeting with Meshaal and in his recent and first visit to Qatar, Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ramadan Shalah discussed the details of the upcoming visit to Tehran.
Read more: AL MONITOR