Iranian Deputy FM Deplores Labeling Hamas Terrorist Group
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian deputy foreign minister censured an Egyptian court decision to list the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, as a terrorist organization, saying that the move has its roots in the Egyptian government’s stances on the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Hamas is a strong movement against the Zionist regime of Israel,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for African and Middle Eastern Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on the sidelines of an international conference on regional developments and Iran’s foreign policy held in Tehran on Monday.
He emphasized that the move to label Hamas as a terrorist group is linked with tense relations between the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas is reportedly an offshoot of the Brotherhood, which authorities in Egypt have also declared a terrorist group and have repressed systematically since the army ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Mursi, from the presidency in 2013.
“We do not regard the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group,” Amir Abdollahian said, adding that Tehran has serious consideration about Cairo's move to list all opposition groups as terrorist ones.
While a court ruled in January that Hamas was a terrorist organization, Saturday's broader ruling against the entire group has potentially greater consequences for the already strained relationship between Cairo and Hamas, which dominates the Gaza Strip on Egypt's border.
"The Egyptian court's decision to list the Hamas movement as a terror organization is shocking and is dangerous, and it targets the Palestinian people and its factions of resistance," Hamas said in a statement after the ruling.
"It will have no influence on the Hamas movement," Hamas said.