Iran had applied intense pressure to Hamas in an effort to persuade it not to leave Damascus, threatening even to cut off funds to the organization if it did so, Palestinian sources have told Haaretz.
The Iranian pressure also included an unprecedented ultimatum – namely, an explicit threat to stop supplying Hamas with arms and suspend the training of its military activists.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal. Photo by: AP
According to the sources, Hamas is abandoning its headquarters in Syria and looking at other Arab states as an alternative location for its political command center. Hamas’ move comes despite intense Iranian pressure on the organization to refrain from relocating.
A Syrian opposition spokesman said recently that once Assad is toppled, his successors will have no intention of preserving the strategic alliance between Damascus, Tehran and Hezbollah.
According to the Palestinian sources, only “second and third-ranking” Hamas activists are leaving Damascus, while senior members of the organization’s political wing, headed by Khaled Meshal, are remaining in the Syrian capital. Continue reading