Hamas Leader Haniyeh Meets With Iran's Hardline President Raisi

Jack Khoury
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Hamas leader Haniyeh meets with Iran's President Raisi, today.
Hamas leader Haniyeh meets with Iran's President Raisi, today.
Jack Khoury

A delegation of senior Hamas officials, headed by the militant group's political leader Ismail Haniyeh, met Friday with Iran's hardline president Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran.

Raisi, 60, was inaugurated on Thursday, two days after winning the formal endorsement of the country's supreme leader to take office following his victory in an election in June.

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Haniyeh updated Raisi about the situation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and described the ramifications of May's hostilities with Israel, the militant organization said in a statement.

Haniyeh also presented Raisi with recent developments in the Palestinian arena, including the controversial case of East Jerusalem's sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the expansion of Israel settlements in the West Bank.

In his meeting with Raisi, the statement added, the Hamas leader stressed that the Palestinian people will continue to battle against the "Israeli occupation."

Raisi, on his part, promised that Iran would keep supporting Hamas, according to the statement.

A delegation headed by Ziyad Al-Nakhalah, secretary general of the Islamic Jihad movement, participated in Raisi's swearing-in ceremony on Thursday and is also expected to meet with the Iranian president.     

Raisi, who is under U.S. sanctions over allegations of human rights abuses when he was a judge, has promised to take steps to lift tough U.S. sanctions that have cut Iran's oil exports and have shut it out of the international banking system.

In June, the UN investigator on human rights in Iran called for an independent inquiry into allegations of state-ordered executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 and the role played by Raisi as Tehran deputy prosecutor.

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