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Hamas delegation to attend Iran leader’s inauguration

HAMAS DELEGATION TO ATTEND IRAN LEADER’S INAUGURATION

A Hamas delegation has arrived in Tehran to participate in Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani's swearing-in ceremony on Saturday.

According to a Hamas statement, the delegation -- which includes leading group members Ezzat al-Rashq, Saleh al-Arouri, Zaher Jabarin and Osama Hamdan -- was officially invited by Iran to attend the ceremony.

"We were invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who is set to begin his second term in office," the statement reads.

It goes on to hail Iran's "important role in supporting the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, advocating for their rights and inspiring their resistance" against Israeli occupation.

In its statement, Hamas also stresses its desire to strengthen ties with Tehran after five years of relative estrangement due to differences over the conflict in Syria.

In May 19 presidential polls, Rouhani -- who hails from Iran's reformist camp -- won 23.5 million votes out of 41 million ballots cast, beating out hardline rival Ebrahim Raisi.

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