- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 2, 2013

Iran has cut up to $23 million a month in funding for Hamas as punishment for the movement’s support of Syrian rebels, Hamas leaders have admitted.

Iran also has ceased military cooperation with and training for Hamas fighters, The Telegraph reports.

Hamas has sided with Syria’s Sunni co-religionists who are trying to unseat President Bashar al-Assad, while Iran continues to support Mr. Assad, “whose Alawite regime is religiously loosely related to the Shia Islam practiced by Iran’s ruling theocracy,” The Telegraph reports.

Ghazi Hamad, Hamas’ deputy foreign minister, described diplomatic relations with Iran as “bad.”

“I can say it is not like the past,” he said of Iranian funding, as The Telegraph reports. “I cannot give you the exact amount. For supporting the Syrian revolution, we lost very much.”

Iran gave Hamas — which governs the Gaza Strip — an estimated $20 million to $23 million a month after Hamas’ victory in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections — enough to cover its budget, political expert Adnan Abu Amer told The Telegraph.

Iran still sends a “tiny amount” to maintain minimal ties, but relations have been all but severed, he added.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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