Mahmoud Abbas has an insatiable appetite.
The Palestinian Authority chairman insisted this week that he will visit Iran, which he referred to as a “sister and neighbor state” in comments made to Polish journalists
He declared his intentions the same day of his reported resignation from the PLO Executive Committee, an announcement that has been denounced as false and reiterated as true a dozen times.
Iran has not been particularly in love with Abbas because he removed, at least for English media, the adjective “armed” from noun “resistance,” the Arab code word for terror.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when he was president of Iran in 2012, invited Abbas to visit but was rejected.
Since then, a lot has happened. Iran and Hamas have had an off-an-on relationship reflecting Middle East instability, particularly in Syria where Iranian Revolutionary Guards are trying to keep Basher al-Assad’s regime from falling.
Abbas, a modern Jules Verne who has circled the world several times since taking over the Palestinian Authority after Yasser Arafat’s death, has built up universal diplomatic for the Arab dream of annihilating Israel, if not by force then by simply shrinking its borders and setting off the demographic weapon called “refugees” to finish off of what would be left of the country.
Now that Iran is holding on to its uranium cake and eating it at the same time, Abbas sees political opportunity. Bringing in Iran under his international umbrella would go down well with the folks in Ramallah while showing up Hamas.
Whether or not the Iranian regime really will welcome him is a question.
Abbas sent envoys to Tehran two weeks ago to discuss “the Palestinian situation” with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the PLO’s executive committee, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency:
Our relationship with Iran is an urgent necessity concerning international and regional developments.
The “developments” are nothing more and nothing less than the deal with Iran, which virtually every world leader with the exception of President Barack Obama acknowledges, implicitly or tacitly, as an exponential increase in Iran’s prestige and influence.
Abbas is not likely to get much out of any revival of relations with the paranoid Iranian regime except for more headlines, but that is the oxygen that has kept him alive politically.