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Deputy Hamas leader: We will never cut ties with Iran

Israel National News reports: “Deputy Hamas leader Salah al-Aruri stressed on Saturday that the group would never agree to sever its ties with Iran and give up the armed struggle as prerequisites for talks with Israel.

Aruri is heading a high-ranking Hamas delegation which arrived in Tehran on Friday and is meeting with local leaders to discuss its reconciliation efforts with rival faction Fatah.

His comments came during a meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and were quoted by the semiofficial Iranian news agency Fars.

Referring to talks with Fatah in Cairo, Aruri said that Israel had set three preconditions for talks, including the disarmament of Hamas, recognition of Israel and cutting ties with Iran.

‘In response to the first prerequisite that was disarmament of Hamas, we have declared that we don’t accept it at all,’ he said, according to Fars, adding that the second precondition was also rejected as Hamas is now fighting ‘to annihilate the Zionist regime.’

‘Our presence in Iran is the practical denial of the third precondition that was cutting ties with Iran,’ Aruri stressed…”

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