Iran Deal Gives Unexpected Boost to Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood

Iran Deal Gives Unexpected Boost to Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood
Khaled Mashaal, leader of the Palestinian organization Hamas, gives a speech, Doha, Qatar, Aug. 28, 2014 (AP photo by Osama Faisal).

Just days after Iran and world powers signed an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program, another geopolitical tremor was felt across the region. It was no earthquake, not yet, but it was a new measure of the vast seismic shift that the nuclear deal is unleashing throughout the Middle East.

Last Friday, the exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, traveled to Saudi Arabia from his home in Qatar, ending several years of deep chill in the relations between the Saudi kingdom and the radical Palestinian group that rules Gaza.

Hamas officials described the visit, Mashaal’s first in three years, as a major success, a “breakthrough” in relations and a “clear shift.” And it was a measure of how important the encounter was to the Saudis that Mashaal met with the top three men in the kingdom: King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and the king’s son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is deputy crown prince, defense minister and reportedly the leading architect of Saudi policy.

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