Hamas higher-up says no support from Iran in years

‘They have doomed Muslims with their false speech,’ Moussa abu Marzouk says of the Iranians in leaked phone conversation

Lee Gancman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

A senior Hamas official said his Gaza-based terror group has received no support from Iran since 2009, in a leaked phone call published in the Arab media on Sunday.

During the conversation, obtained by London-based daily A-Sharq al-Awsat, Hamas political chief Moussa Abu Marzouk is heard saying of the Iranians that “we haven’t gotten anything from them since 2009, and everything [the Iranians] are saying is a lie.”

The report did not specify when the phone call took place, nor with whom Abu Marzouk was ostensibly speaking.

Iran is widely believed to be funding Hamas, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group, and other proxy terror groups in the Middle East.

According to Abu Marzouk, whenever the Iranians offered their support, they conditioned it on Hamas acting as mediator to improve ties between the Islamic Republic and Sunni states such as Sudan.

Abu Marzouk also denounced the Iranians for their support of the Houthi rebels in Yemen, describing their role in the conflict there as “negative.”

“They have doomed Muslims with their false speech and the way they treat people,” he said.

Hamas sources quoted by the report would not confirm or deny the authenticity of the leaked phone call but said that, if genuine, it must have been obtained by Israel or another powerful state with the necessary spying technology.

The same sources were quoted as saying that Iran cut off support for Hamas after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, when the group refused to express support for dictator Bashar Assad. They noted, however, that a small amount of unspecified support has gone to Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Two weeks ago, an unnamed Israeli source told Army Radio that in the wake of the recent Iran nuclear deal and lifting of sanctions, Tehran’s first priority would likely be to spend its newly freed-up funds on military acquisitions, including new weaponry for Hezbollah and Hamas.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed