Photo Credit: IRNA English via Twitter screen grab
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets in Tehran with Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri and delegation members

Iranian state television and the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Monday that a delegation of Hamas leaders met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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Al-Arouri, who is heading the delegation, called Hamas Iran’s “first line of defense.”

READ: Hamas Intl Politburo No. 2 Al-Arouri Praises Iran as Top Terror Patron

Hamas Intl Politburo No. 2 Al-Arouri Praises Iran as Top Terror Patron

Khamenei was quoted as saying “The oppressed people of Palestine will emerge victorious in face of Israeli occupiers.” He added, “The Islamic Republic has no hesitation when it comes to supporting Palestine,” according to the Tasnim news agency.

“Victory will not be achieved without resistance and struggle and, based on a definite divine promise, we believe that the issue of Palestine will surely end in favor of the Palestinian people and the Islamic world,” Khamenei said. “The Islamic Republic of Iran does not stand on ceremony with any country in the world when it comes to Palestine. We have always expressed our views on Palestine clearly and transparently.

“Even in the international arena, our friendly countries, with whom we have differences of opinion in this regard, know that the Islamic Republic is completely serious on the Palestinian issue,” Khamenei continued.

“One of the major causes of hostility toward the Islamic Republic of Iran is the issue of Palestine but these hostilities and pressures will not make Iran retreat from its stance on the issue because support for Palestine is a religious issue,” he added.

“Hamas stands at the core of Palestine’s movement, just as Palestine stands at the core of the World of Islam’s movement,” Khamenei later posted in a tweet.

Also on Monday, Hamas political bureau leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech from Tehran, “The Palestinian resistance possesses missiles that can hit anywhere in Israeli-occupied Palestine.”

Haniyeh is also taking part in the delegation meeting with Iranian officials in Tehran.

Other members of the delegation include Moussa Abu Marzouk, Maher Salah, Husam Badran, Osama Hamdan, Ezzat al-Rishq and Ismail Radwan, according to the Hamas website.

The Fars news agency reported Sunday that al-Arouri said Hamas and Iran are moving in the same direction when it comes to Israel: “We are on the same path as the Islamic Republic — the path of battling the Zionist entity and the arrogant ones,” he said.

He made the comment during a meeting with Kamal Kharazi, head of Iran’s Strategic Council of Foreign Relations and adviser to Khamenei.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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