- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2013

Senior members of Hezbollah and Hamas announced on Monday in the Lebanese press that they’ve formed a stronger pact with Iran’s government to watch out for one another’s interests in the Middle East.

The announcement came as officials with Hamas and Hezbollah — included on the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list — said they wrapped a couple of weeks of meetings with Iranian authorities to discuss recent developments in the region, Ynet News reported.

Following those discussions, the newspaper As-Safir said, the officials agreed to fortify an “axis of resistance.”

Some of those talks centered on the recent blockading of the Gaza Strip, as well as the ongoing tensions and violence in Syria and Egypt.

The newspaper didn’t describe how the trio would carry out its politics and policies under the strengthened alliance. But Islamist sources in the Lebanese media report said Hamas is a key force in the fight against Israel — hinting that perhaps that movement now has some added steam, Ynet News said.

In recent months, Hamas also has maintained a steady defense of the Syrian rebels hoping to oust President Bashar Assad.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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