Iranian Support For Hamas Running High Post-Gaza The political leader of Hamas is on a visit to Tehran this week to thank Iran for its support during Hamas' 22-day war with Israel. During the conflict, Israeli leaders — and some in the United States — characterized the fighting as a proxy war with Iran.
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Iranian Support For Hamas Running High Post-Gaza

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Iranian Support For Hamas Running High Post-Gaza

Iranian Support For Hamas Running High Post-Gaza

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Khaled Meshaal has come here to say thanks for Iran's support. NPR's Mike Shuster reports on what Iranian leaders portray as a victory over Israel.

MIKE SHUSTER: For weeks, Iranian television and newspapers have been full of news about the war in Gaza - all of it anti-Israel and pro-Hamas. So Khaled Meshaal's visit has been hailed as something of a victory lap. Witness a news report this week on Press TV, Iran's 24-hour English news channel via satellite and the Internet.

INSKEEP: (through translator) Meshaal thanked Iranian authorities and people for their political and media support, and said Palestinian people would not forget it. Khaled Meshaal is on a visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran. Earlier in the day he met with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili.

SHUSTER: Mohammed Atrianfar is a writer and editor who often finds himself in opposition to the government.

MOHAMMED ATRIANFAR: (Through translator) If we believe that Hamas is not destroyed, and Israel did not reach to all the goals that they planned, so we can say that Hamas is rationally victorious and Israel has lost. So this is a victory for the resistance in the region and is a victory for Iran.

SHUSTER: Little is known publicly in Iran about weapons supplies. But the Iranian government makes no secret of its material support for Hamas. Still, says conservative analyst Amir Mohebian, Iran is not in a position to control Hamas.

AMIR MOHEBIAN: Strategically it is good for Iran, but it does not mean that Iran wants to make Hamas as a puppet, or sends the, for example, arms to the - no, it is not true. Iran ideologically supports Hamas.

SHUSTER: Still, not all Iranians are as swept up in the emotion of Gaza. Issa Saharkhiz, a reform journalist who is banned from publishing here, says many Iranians are much more concerned about domestic problems.

ISSA SAHARKHIZ: We condemn Israel attack to the Palestinian. But it is not our priority. We're thinking about our problem. Oil is coming down. Our income is down. We are thinking about inflation, employment and unemployment, and so on.

SHUSTER: Mike Shuster, NPR News, Tehran.

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