One does not have to be a Middle East expert to appreciate that one spin-off effect of the reduction of sanctions on the Iranian regime as part of the P5+1 brokered interim deal is the freeing-up of assets which will potentially allow Iran to pursue and expand its support and sponsorship for assorted terrorist organisations and allies around the Middle East.
Even when the sanctions were biting and ordinary Iranians battled with inflation and food shortages, Tehran still found the resources to fund Hizballah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as well as to provide practical support for the Assad regime in Syria.
So keeping an eye on the traffic on the road to Tehran should make for interesting observations for Middle East correspondents at this particular time – except those from the BBC, apparently.
Palestinian Authority-related items on the BBC News website during January 2014 were limited to two reports on the explosion and subsequent discovery of a weapons cache at the PA mission in Prague, one report on the return of the remains of dead terrorists and one on the subject of mass weddings held in Jericho and Gaza with PA funding.
But when a member of Fatah’s Central Committee – the faction dominating both the PA and the PLO which is currently conducting peace talks with Israel – paid a rare visit to Tehran at the end of January, the BBC apparently did not find that newsworthy.
“The Palestinians have an interest in Tehran playing an increased role in the region, Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official, said on Thursday.
He announced that Fatah has not abandoned the option of “armed resistance” if the peace talks with Israel fail.
“The year 2014 is the year of decision; we either go to a state or to a confrontation,” Rajoub said. “The confrontation would be on three fronts: launching and escalating resistance; boycotting and isolating Israel; and halting all forms of normalization [with Israel] on the political, academic, trade and economic levels.” […]
“The option of armed resistance is also on the table,” he added.”
With Rajoub’s ink in Zarif’s guest book barely dry, February 5th saw additional Palestinian visitors in Tehran – this time from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“The PIJ delegation arrived in Tehran on Wednesday to hold high-level meetings with leading Iranian lawmakers, as well as with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who also is leading nuclear negotiations with the West, according to regional reports and photographs.” […]
” “The resistance will undoubtedly succeed in defending the rights of Palestinians,” Zarif was quoted as saying by Iran’s state-run PressTV following a meeting with PIJ’s deputy secretary general Ziyad al Nakhalah.” […]
” “Resistance and campaign against the Zionist regime is the only way to liberate Palestine and securing the rights of its oppressed people,” Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani was quoted as saying during a meeting with PIJ leaders.
PIJ member Ramazan Abdullah responded by saying that “Iran has always been the main supporter of the Palestinian nation’s cause and goals,” according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.” […]
“PIJ’s Abdullah noted during his meeting with Iranian leaders that “the only way for Palestinians to move forward is to follow the path of resistance,” according to PressTV.”
That visit was not reported by the BBC either. But then again, BBC journalists were awfully busy on that particular day informing audiences of years-old building tenders irrelevant to the prospects of progress in the current Israel/PLO talks.
BBC silent on ‘Fatah Day’ celebrations