Cairo Wary of Hamas Reviving Ties with Tehran

(Arab Weekly-UK) Amr Emam - Egypt watched closely as a delegation from Hamas visited Tehran on July 20, the first such trip since December 2017. "The return of Iranian influence to the Gaza Strip will adversely affect the region," Egyptian political analyst Ammar Ali Hassan said. "Apart from potentially ending the calm between Hamas and Israel, this influence will harm Egypt's relations with Hamas." Egypt reportedly prevented Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh from leaving Gaza for the meeting in Iran. This was why Hamas Politburo Deputy Chairman Saleh al-Arouri, who lives in Beirut, led the delegation. Egypt looks with suspicion at Iranian attempts to expand its influence in the region, especially in Egypt's immediate vicinity. Hamas is an ideological offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization hated by the government of Egyptian President al-Sisi. "Egypt has to use the cards in its hands to pressure Hamas to stop reaching out to Iran," said Samir Ghattas, a member of the Egyptian parliament. "Iran's influence in Gaza is a real threat to Egypt's national security."

2019-08-05 00:00:00

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