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Iran to Hamas: keep it up or we’ll cut you off

According to an official of the Egyptian government, Iran has warned Hamas not to accept Egypt’s proposal for a cease fire with Israel. Two Iranian emissaries “threatened to stop weapons supplies and funding to the Palestinian factions if they agreed to a cease-fire with Israel,” the Egyptian official told the Jerusalem Post. The emissaries were the influential Ali Larijani, speaker of the Iranian parliament, and Said Jalili of the Iranian Intelligence Service.

It is in Egypt’s interest to discredit Hamas by depicting it as a tool of Iran and claiming that this relationship is preventing an end to the bloodshed and destruction in Gaza. In doing so, Egypt also seeks to discredit Iran which, it points out, “never fired one bullet at Israel” but is “trying to appear as if [it is] participating in the war against Israel.”

But just because the report is self-serving doesn’t mean it is false. In fact, the report is quite plausible. Having invested in Hamas, Iran probably does not want the fighting to end without Hamas having produced more of a return.

To that extent, Iran’s perceived interests may align with Israel’s. For Israel probably does not want the fighting to end until the value of Iran’s investment plummets further.

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