Hamas said on Wednesday itsÂ relations with financial backer Iran have sufferedÂ as a result of the Islamist group’s support of rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a long-time Iranian ally.
Hamas was also once an Assad ally but last year endorsed the revolt against him in a shift that deprived the Syrian leader of an important Sunni Muslim supporter in the Arab world.
“Our relations with Iran were affected both on the political and the financial levels,” said Ghazi Hamad, deputy minister of foreign affairs in the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip.
Hamad declined to provide any figures for the amount of aid Hamas receives from Iran or give details of any cutbacks, other than to say “it did not get to the point of boycott [from Tehran].”
“We have stood by the Syrian people and we have backed the demands of the revolution,” Hamad told reporters, saying those positions had led to a worsening of ties with Tehran.
A diplomatic source in the region said Iran has provided Hamas with up to $20 million a month to help pay the salaries of nearly half of 50,000 Gaza government employees.
Hamad said Hamas was still meeting its payroll and “had lots of other sources” for money. But he added: “Things are not easy… and we are trying to overcome the problem.”
“We are with Hezbollah in their resistance against Israel but we are not in favor of their position in Syria,” Hamad said.
The rift between Sunni and Shiites, which was always there, is really out in the open with the Syria war.
And not only that, but jihadists are also breaking with “moderate” Islamists in light of the Arab pseudo-spring, as thisÂ hilarious MEMRI videoÂ shows:
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Following are excerpts from interviews with Nabil Naeem, a former leader in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which aired on Al-Mayadeen TV on May 30, 2013, and on Al-Arabiya TV on May 31.
Al-Mayadeen TV, May 30, 2013:
Nabil Naeem:Â As the former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and as someone who spent many years in Afghanistan with Dr. Ayman [Al-Zawahiri] in the war against the Russians, I would like to give the following piece of advice to the fighters in Syria: After 15 years of fighting in Afghanistan, the shari’a has not been instated and an Islamic caliphate has not been established. The slogan for which you are being mobilized is false, because you will not instate the shari’a.
Has the United States donned the veil? Do you really think it will instate the shari’a in Syria? Has Obama converted to Islam? Is he about to establish the caliphate in Syria? You are being used as instruments in their colonialist designs. When the war is over and you are no longer needed, they will do to you what they did to us – you will either be killed or sent back to prison.
The U.S. spread the word around the world –Â and the idiotic Arabs and Muslims bought itÂ – that post-Saddam Hussein Iraq would be heaven on Earth. Take a look at Iraq today. Has the shari’a been implemented in Iraq? Has a caliphate been implemented there? Has democracy been established in Iraq, for that matter? Today, the Iraqi people long for the days of Saddam Hussein.
Interviewer: Whether the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafis are in power in Egypt, the peace accords with Israel will remain intact…
Nabil Naeem:Â These accords will be honored more than in the days of Mubarak. Hosni Mubarak had a military upbringing. He was familiar with Egyptian national security and the threats to it.Â But those [Muslim Brotherhood members] are a bunch of moronic amateurs,Â who will succumb to things that even Mubarak refused to accept.
I have been following Hamas from day one. Their slogan was the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea. We used to laugh about this and say that they are fooling people. It has gotten to the point that Hamas is now protecting the peace with Israel.Â Whenever people would fire a rocket at Israel, Yasser Arafat would lock them up for one month and then set them free.Â Hamas kills them.
Interviewer: Are you convinced that Egypt should have a peace treaty with Israel now?
Nabil Naeem: Yes, of course. Allah does not require anyone to do more than he is capable of. The truth is that the Arabs are incapable of fighting Israel. How can the Egyptian people fight, when they have nothing to eat?
Al-Arabiya TV, May 31, 2013:
Nabil Naeem:Â We have always known that the Muslim Brotherhood would not grant liberties to anyone.Â This is a dictatorial organization raised on Fascism, and on the rejection of other people’s opinions. How can they possibly grant us liberties? They can’t give what they don’t have. In order for the culture of the Muslim Brotherhood to change, this entire generation and the next must come to an end. We are looking at 30 or 40 years of Fascism and dictatorship.