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Iran told Hamas chief Haniyeh it will not enter the conflict, according to Reuters report

Some Saudi journalists say Iran wants to preserve its strategic military objectives in Middle East region

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with Palestinian group Hamas' top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, in Tehran, Iran June 21, 2023. (Phot: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA via REUTERS)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that the Iranian regime will not directly enter the conflict to aid Hamas, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday evening.

Reuters cited three unnamed Iranian and Hamas officials with knowledge of the meetings between Khamenei and Haniyeh earlier this month. 

According to the officials, Khamenei told Haniyeh: 'You gave us no warning of your Oct. 7 attack on Israel and we will not enter the war on your behalf.' 

Khamenei also asked Haniyeh to reign in calls by Hamas officials for Iran and Hezbollah to fully join the conflict against Israel. 

Shortly after the Reuters article was published, Hamas released a statement on its Telegram channel, denying its authenticity. “The report is baseless,” Hamas wrote.

While the Hezbollah terror organization in Lebanon has denied having any advanced knowledge of the attacks, security officials in Israel and other nations have said it is highly unlikely that Iran had no advance knowledge. 

The Lebanese news site Ya Libnan cited several Saudi journalists who claim Iran did, in fact, have knowledge of the attacks before they took place, but are denying it for political reasons. 

The Saudi journalists claim Iran helped initiate the Oct. 7 attack in order to disrupt the normalization efforts between Israel and Saudi Arabia. 

One of the Saudi journalists, Tariq Al-Homayed, said the denial of foreknowledge by Iran is a strategy to preserve its objectives in the Middle East. 

“Iran wants to avoid a change to the status quo that removes Hamas from power in Gaza, especially through the establishment of interim international authorities that eventually hand over the Strip to the Palestinian Authority,” Al-Homayed wrote in article for Saudi paper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat

He also wrote that “Iran wants to be represented in any future negotiations on this matter.” 

Meanwhile, Saudi journalist Ahmad Al-Zafiri said that the warning represents a clarification of Iran’s interests in the region because while Iran still views Hamas as a valuable tool, it is pursuing a larger conquest at the moment, securing military footholds in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. 

“The imaginary resistance axis has given up on supporting those who expected it to stand by them militarily [in the war], since it has more important considerations than Palestine: it wants Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sana’a,” Al-Zafiri wrote. 

He said that Palestinians should recognize: “The Arabs are the only ones that have supported the Palestinian people politically.” 

Al-Zafiri also said Palestinians “must reassess their considerations and understand that their path lies with their true brothers, not with those who sell illusions.” 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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