No effort is being made to cloak the warming of relations between Hamas and Iran in a veil of secrecy. A key figure in this budding rapprochement is senior Hamas official Salah al-Arouri, who was expelled from Turkey two years ago after Jerusalem and Ankara reached a reconciliation agreement. Photos from Aug. 2 show Arouri meeting in Beirut with Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, special assistant for international affairs to Iran's Shura Council. Also in attendance were Osama Hamdan, Hamas' point man for international relations, and Ali Barakeh, the movement's representative in Lebanon.
After the meeting, Arouri flew straight to Tehran, where he joined a high-level Hamas delegation attending the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani for a second term. Arouri, Hamdan and Izzat al-Rishq held a series of meetings with top Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, senior adviser to the supreme leader on international affairs Ali Akbar Velayati and Strategic Committee for Foreign Policy Chairman Kamal Kharazi.