Hamas' has called a Reuters report on the details of a meeting between its leader Ismail Haniyeh and Iran's ruler Ali Khamenei "pure slander and a lie”, according to the Iranian state news agency IRNA.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that the Iranian regime was unaware of Hamas' October 7 terror attack against Israel. The report quoted three anonymous senior officials as stating that in a recent meeting in Tehran, Khamenei told Haniyeh: “You gave us no warning of your Oct. 7 attack on Israel and we will not enter the war on your behalf.”
In an interview with IRNA, published on Thursday, Osama Hamdan, a member of Hamas' political office, denied the claim saying: “Such news is intended to destroy the image of Hamas and the Axis of Resistance in the region.”
The so-called Axis of Resistance refers to a coalition of military forces in the region backed by Iran, including militias in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. For years, Tehran has provided Hamas with military, technical, and operational support.
The Iranian government has not officially commented on the Reuters report, but publication of the interview with Hamdan on IRNA can be interpreted as an indirect response.
The Hamas official added: “Ayatollah Khamenei's meeting with Haniyeh was consistent with Iranian and Hamas' ongoing constructive ties”.
Reuters has updated its report since publication and said Hamas has denied the validity of the report on Telegram, calling it "baseless”.
At least 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed and 240 more were taken hostage by Hamas after its surprise attack on Israel on October 7. This has led to the most deadly conflict between the two sides since Hamas took power in 2007.