Hamas-Iran links full of contradictions, but also mutual interestThe Associated Press Published: March 19, 2007
BEIRUT, Lebanon: When Iraq hung Saddam Hussein, furious Sunni Muslims in the militant group Hamas held mourning ceremonies. That did not sit well with Shiite Muslim Iran, one of Hamas' key backers but also a strong Saddam foe.

Yet the dispute over Saddam's execution did not break the Hamas-Iran alliance, either.

Instead the two — bound by common strategic interests — have solidified their relationship in the last year, creating a growing worry for both some Arab countries and for Israel.

Israel has in recent weeks accused Iran of training Hamas militants from Gaza and smuggling weapons to Hamas. The weekend formation of a Palestinian coalition government between Hamas, which won a democratic election a year ago, and the more moderate Fatah is sure to bring new attention to the issue.

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