Moderate outlet Tabnak Slams Hamas Leaders

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Tabnak, close to Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei, has published an article critical of the Hamas leadership in reaction to a statement by Mousa Abu Marzook, the deputy chief of Hamas’s political bureau, who is currently based in Cairo, having left Damascus in 2012.

The article is titled “Why have the leaders of Hamas become forgetful?” claiming from the outset that “the problem of forgetfulness day by day is becoming more acute amongst the Hamas authorities.”

Abu Marzook is quoted by Tabnak as having commented, “if Iran doesn’t want to provoke public opinion in the Arab world against it, it must review its support for the Syrian government. … Iran doesn’t have a good standing in the Arab world and for this reason in order not to lose [the favor] of public opinion in the Arab world, it must review its politics with respect to Syria. … Hamas’ disagreement with this request of Iran [i.e., that Hamas provide more support for the Syrian regime and which Marzook claims Hamas rejected] has affected our relations with Iran.”

The article then reacts critically to Abu Marzook’s comments, arguing:

“These comments by Abu Marzook are said when immediately after the ceasefire between the Zionist regime and the resistance forces of Palestine, Khaled Meshaal, the chief of Hamas’s political bureau and Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the Palestinian government in Gaza, in the course of separate statements, while thanking Iran’s action in support of Palestine, emphasized the pre-eminent role of Iran in the victory of the resistance front.”

“In this state, it seems that the leaders of Hamas have been afflicted again with the problem of forgetfulness, and with the return to calm, again stress their point of difference with Iran.”

“Generally, the leaders of the Hamas movement in recent months have shown they are noticeably under the influence of where and when [they happen] to be speaking and interviewed. Because their [political] positioning in the calm of Egypt has pronounced differences with their position during the war and in Gaza!

Despite this, that which these people shouldn’t forget is the difference between the action of Arab countries and Turkey in the recent crisis in Gaza and the action of Iran regarding the resistance of Palestine. In the same way that these individuals admit, that if not for the military support of Iran, the “diplomatic” actions of Hamas’ Arab and Turkish friends, couldn’t solve the problem. Undoubtedly, this will not be the final conflict between Palestine and the Zionist regime and the friendship of the friends of Hamas with the West and the Zionist regime will not be so easily damaged.”

Last week, Iran Pulse published an article posted by the arguably far more “hard-line” Serat News, which had been highly critical of Hamas’s growing proximity to both Turkey and Qatar, but Tabnak is generally known for representing a more pragmatic line for Iranian foreign policy and international affairs.

In other news

Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the spokesman for the Majles’ Commission for National Security and Foreign Policy has told Bashgah-e khabarnegaran that the Egyptian government agreed to allow a parliamentary delegation from Iran to visit the Gaza Strip. Hosseini stated that the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic is currently following up on the issuance of visas and formal permission for the parliamentary delegation’s trip.

He also added that “the entire goal of this trip is political and spiritual support of the Palestinian people by the regime of the Islamic Republic and the country’s parliament.”

The hard-line Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi has claimed that “the enemies” are trying their utmost to prove that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was mistaken in approving of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after the controversial 2009 presidential election. The foreign-based website Digarban has published excerpts from a speech by Mesbah Yazdi, originally posted on the radical-leaning Raja News, close to Mesbah Yazdi’s Endurance Front, stating “the enemies have announced that even if there is one day remaining until the end of the current presidency, he [i.e., Ahmadinejad] must be given a vote of no-confidence and [thereby] prove the mistaken supposition of the Leader in approving him.”

Baztab-e emruz has reported on the absence of Ahmadinejad at the Supreme Leader’s officially hosted mourning ceremony for the holy month of Moharram, the tenth day of which is Ashura, when Shiites mourn the martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and third Imam, Hossein. The event is held for five consecutive nights at the Supreme Leader’s complex and Ahmadinejad is reported to have not attended a single one, or even sent a member of his family as a representative, as he had done in the past when relations with the Supreme Leader were fraught. Baztab, which is regularly critical of the Ahmadinejad government, has seized on this to claim “with his absence at the Leader’s office, he has shown the measure of his gratitude for the support of the government by the Supreme Leader.” The “support” in question is, of course, Khamenei’s intervention, what numerous Iranian MPs have held to be a non-negotiable “executive order”, preventing Ahmadinejad from being summoned before the Majles to answer questions for a second time in less than eight months. An unprecedented event in the history of the Islamic Republic, Ahmadinejad’s absence is in stark contrast to previous years where the president would be sure to attend and accept the Leader’s hospitality.

Finally, Baztab anticipates a harsh reaction from Ayatollah Khamenei’s vocal supporters, such as Ayatollahs Ahmad Khatami and Alamhoda, in reaction to this slight, which has clearly not gone unnoticed.